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ArrivĂŠe No.133 Summer 2016

the long distance cyclists' association

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in the UK. Audax UK membership is open to any cyclist, regardless of club or other affiliation, who is imbued with the spirit of long-distance cycling. AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP Membership Secretary: Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX • Application form: or contact Membership Secretary Fees: Renewal: £14 or £56 for five years. New or lapsed members £19 (inc £5 enrolment fee) or £61 for five years. Household members: £5 or £20 for five years. No enrolment fee for new household members. Life member’s Arrivée: £9 or £45 for five years. ARRIVÉE Extra copies of current issue where available, are £3 (UK), £4 (Europe), £5 (rest of world). Contact Mike Wigley (details above). Contributions: articles, pictures, illustrations, reviews etc are always welcome. Please see for details of how to submit. Views expressed in Arrivée are not necessarily those of the organisation. Printed & distributed by: Headley Brothers Ltd, Ashford, Kent TN24 8HH • Distribution data from AUK membership team. ADVERTISING Advertising manager: Tim Wainwright, 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL • Rates per issue: Full page A4 £300. Half-page landscape or portrait £150. Quarter-page £75. One-sixth page £50. One-twelfth page £25. Payment in advance. Businesses must be recommended by a member. We rely on good faith and Arrivée cannot be held responsible for advertisers’ misrepresentations or failure to supply goods or services. Members’ private ads: free. ARRIVÉE EDITORS Winter: Sheila Simpson, 33 Hawk Green Road, Marple SK6 7HR • 0161 449 9309 • fax: 0709 237 4245 • Spring: Tim Wainwright, 4a Brambledown Road, Sanderstead, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 0BL • 020 8657 8179 • Summer: David Kenning, Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ • 07734 815133 • Autumn: Peter Moir, 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB • 01993 704913 • Audax United Kingdom Long Distance Cyclists’ Association Ltd Company Registration 5920055 (Cardiff ) Reg Office: 25 Bluewater Drive, Elborough, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 8PF Copyright © 2016 Arrivée

Cover: Bryce Mansfield, Manche-Med 1,000km, June 2016, photo by Julie Hodgetts (full story on p11) Opposite: Rider on the Blowingstone – White Horse 100 (more pics on p34) Back cover: Martin Brice enjoying Belgian cycle paths on the Ostend 600, photo by Titus Halliwell (full story on p6)

Arrivée No.133 • Summer 2016


4 AUK Merchandise 5 Cove and Cliff 100 6 Ostend 600 9 Wheel of Fortune 11 Our oldest Manche to Med rider? 12 London Edinburgh London 2017 14 Nearly Stonehenge 200 19 Ordre des Cols Durs 20 The Call of the Wild 34 Blowingstone – White Horse 100 38 Limehouse London DIY

40 Scottish Borders DIY 42 Solo LEJOG by ElliptiGO 48 Letters 48 Cambridge Spring Dash 49 Notices 50 Mandatory Routes 52 Secretary’s Report 53 AUK Reunion weekend 54 Mileater Diaries 55 AUK board & delegates 56 LEJOG Hardcore 58 LEL 2013 – The Movie 60 Audax UK Calendar 66 Event entry forms


lthough 2016 is one of those intermediate years between editions of PBP and LEL, it hasn’t stopped some of you showing that you truly are imbued with the spirit of longdistance cycling by seeking out other challenges, and I’m pleased to be able to feature several tales of epic cycling adventures in this issue of Arrivée. June, for example, saw the inaugural running of the 2,100km Wild Atlantic Way Audax in Ireland. As if completing the ride wasn’t enough of a feat in itself, Phil Whitehurst got down to writing up his report as soon as he got home. I suggest you make yourself a large mug of tea before sitting down to enjoy it – see p20. Talking of London-Edinburgh-London, plans are well under way for next year’s edition – see page 12 for details. Please also take time to catch up with the latest organisational changes at AUK in the new secretary’s report on p52, where you will also find information about the new format of the Reunion and Awards dinner. Finally, a plea from Ordre des Cols Durs coordinator Rod Dalitz – when submitting ride reports to Arrivée, it would be very helpful if you could highlight any claims for cols over 300m. It isn’t always clear to us editors when reading your reports whether or not they qualify but we do like to be able to give credit where it’s due, and to highlight the OCD challenge. Please send contributions for the Autumn issue to Peter Moir by 2 October.

David n Please mention Arrivée when replying to our advertisers Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133



Clothing Official Audax UK clothing, made in Yorkshire by ForceGB, is available to buy now from the Audax UK website. The club jersey uses the latest in wicking sports fabrics and includes features such as under-arm mesh for ventilation, reflective piping, grippers to keep everything in place and three rear pockets plus a built-in zipped pocket.

The range includes: n Long & short sleeve jersey n Winter weight jersey n Softshell jacket n Gilet n Arm warmers n Special edition PBP jersey All in a range of colours, and men’s & women’s sizes

You can order AUK club jerseys via or direct from the ForceGB website at (or call 01924 409290)

Badges and Medals A wide range of membership badges, frame stickers, car window stickers and other medals and badges are available for members to purchase, including a special commemorative badge to mark Audax UK’s 40th Anniversary.

For full details of the range, plus prices and how to order your badges and medals, see:


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Cornish Cruncher Words & photography by Ribble Blue

EVENT Cove and Cliff DATE 15th May 2016 DISTANCE 110km LOCATION Devoran, S of Truro ORGANISER Martin Aldis, Audax Kernow WEBSITE


t’s been a few years since I went down into Cornwall to ride one of their audaxes. It used to be a drive down to Truro every Summer to start either the Granite & Serpentine Way 160k or the 100k Lizard Loop event. Lately there always seemed to be another event on in either Devon or Somerset that weekend which I went to. With the demise of my local Coast and Back event this year, I thought I’d give Cornwall a visit again. It’s a long way down from Torbay to Devoran, the other side of Truro, so it was a 6.30 start from Devon in order to be at the start of the 100k Cove and Cliff audax by 9.00. There was a disappointing entry of only about 25 for the event, but they were also running 50k and 200k events that day, so maybe that was all they would expect. The weather forecast was very promising with plenty of sunshine in west Cornwall and little chance of rain. The route sheet with about 100 instructions on 3 sheets of paper was going to require some close attention as this is an area I’m not too familiar with. Leaving the start with my cycling partner, Liz, somehow we were at the front of the field but that soon changed as we hit the first hill at Gwennap, about a mile into the event. Now running near the back of the field, we headed for Lanner and the first info control. We needed to find the name of some house with a water trough in the front and finally located it with the help of other riders (I don’t remember the name now, but it was something unpronounceable. There was a steep climb out of Lanner, past a group of churches of different nominations, to reach Stithians and Porkellis. I recognised some of these roads from previous visits to Cornwall and when we passed the Poldark Mine, we were beginning to understand where we were. The route then took us around the top end of Helston to get out to Culdrose Air Station and from there out to Gunwallow Church on the coast for the second Info control. Gunwallow Church is down on the beach after a long descent and is likely to be one of the first casualties of global warming in Cornwall. When you go down in Cornwall, you then have to go up, and up it went all the way back to the Air Station then down again around Helston bypass to get to the Staples café control in the Penrose estate near Porthleven. Somehow the route avoided a climb out of Porthleven and headed up to the north Cornwall coast through

Nancegolan and Gwithian. Somewhere around Connon Downs, Liz and I parted company with the route sheet. Everything had fallen into place up until then, and then suddenly it didn’t; I’m sure you have all faced situations like this in the past. We spent about half an hour going back and forth, and then because we knew the route went to Portreath, we just headed for there. It was quite a surprise to us when we spotted an Audax sign pointing us to the control down on Gwithian sands. At this point there was no time to stop for a cuppa, instead we made our way up the hill and over the Downs to drop down into Portreath and head on for Porthtowan. Even though there was a steep drop coming down into Porthtowan, it was still a shock to the system to see the road going out. It was a long climb and the 1 in 5 gradient at a certain point had me walking the last bit. Somebody assured me that it was the last hill, but where have I heard that before. There was another steep climb up around the St Agnes Beacon for the third info control, but then we dropped down through St Agnes. With steep ascents in the past now, we headed across Cornwall to get to the finish at Devoran, with the last few miles being the reverse of the route out. Thanks must go to Martin and his team for a very picturesque ride in west Cornwall and not a drop of rain all day, but brilliant sunshine. A brief stop to enjoy the Cornish coastal scenery

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A weekend in Belgium For UK audaxers living in the southeast, a short hop across the Channel opens up a world of possibilities – and the good news is that you don’t even need to be able to speak Flemish… Words Martin Brice, Photography Titus Halliwell EVENT Ostend 600 DATE 11th June 2016



ere’s a shocking bit of news: the land of TinTin and strong beer has the most wonderful cycling. All of us dream of that perfect ride: wonderful tarmac, flat land, straight roads, no traffic. Titus Halliwell and I found it on a 600k calendar audax. What’s more, we found it in Belgium, of all places. It’s easy to get to – especially if you live south of London, it’s just a trip through the Tunnel and an hour’s drive on the autoroute to Ostend. Audaxers brought up on a diet of Ginster’s pasties and garage sandwiches will be delighted to hear just about every bar in Belgium seems to sell excellent coffee and apple cake with cream. Also, this X-rated event was easier to enter than a UK audax. The Belgians just check the weather forecast and rock up at the start with a universal entry form filled in and a €5 note. (We had emailed the organiser saying we were coming but had no reply.) There’s no pre-entry and none of this “no entry on the line” or “all entries two weeks before the event” that we have in the UK. This is, I suspect, is for two reasons: n It’s an X rated event with about a dozen riders expected, so no problem swamping the controls n The organiser doesn’t need to order brevets printed for his event, he already has dozens of the same card and hands you one, with the routesheet. This is in French and in Flemish

– I’d downloaded it and translated it into English before we left home. We followed the GPX track of the official route. Not all these events are X rated – last year Titus and I entered the Brussels-Paris-Brussels 600k organised by Frank Steenput and that cost €30 each and included a snack stop, a F1 hotel room and a bag drop. That event was more slickly organised but it was a PBP year. After the 6am start from a car park in Ostend, we were keen to stay with the leading group to ensure we had an easy exit from the town. Riders have their own segregated lanes marked with reddish tarmac, and cyclists’ traffic lights giving priority over cars at junctions so it can be a bit bewildering for a UK cyclist. We stuck with a group of six as we left the town but as we reached those straight, flat, traffic – free canalside roads with the perfect tarmac they moved into a bunch with stronger riders at the front and reached 30kph. I lost my bottle and with 585k yet to ride was nervous of running out of puff so they dropped us and we never saw them again. This 600k involved two loops, the first 300 going north to Breskens then eastward around Tense and back through Ghent and Bruges to Ostend. The second was a very different experience because it involved France. We were going well as we reached

Waiting for a bridge to open


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OSTEND 600 Enjoying the perfect Belgian cycle paths

Breskens, the first control. However, the best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft aglay, and alas we arrived before anything was open, but Titus spotted a lady opening the door of an ice-cream shop – she didn’t have a stamp to mark our brevets so she gave us some of her business cards. We hoped this would prove we had been there. At a later control in a small café we ordered the obligatory apple cake and cream with coffee and were cheered to hear the leading group had left just five minutes before. We later stopped at a McDonald’s for food and a receipt. Yes, you can slag off Maccy D’s all you want, but it gives you clean bogs, good wi-fi and grub that won’t give you food poisoning. But they wouldn’t give us free tapwater, we were supposed to buy it. Sod that. As we left Ghent we spotted the latest craze in cycling: the electric bike. More to the point – the double electric bike. This one had electric hubs on both the front and rear wheels and shot past us at a fantastic speed, even though it was laden with shopping bags. Cheaper than a car, no licence needed to drive it, and virtually free power. I’ve seen the future and it works. For the last control of that day back in Ostend the routesheet said we should go to the car park where the start had been but in the morning I had questioned the organiser about this and he said: “Oh no, you come to my house.” We wondered if he would have told us this had we not asked. So after the first 300k loop we rocked up at his place, about one kilometre from the start, about 9pm and knocked on the door, and we had a chat and he stamped the brevet. We had rented a flat in Ostend for three nights, it’s about 1.2k from the organiser’s house and we nipped back there and had a shower and some scoff and were asleep by 10.30pm with a 3am alarm for a 4am departure. So – 4 ½ hours sleep on a 600, luxury. At 5am we discovered a quirk of Belgian law: where there is a blue circular sign with a white bike on that is a mandatory cycle lane that you must use - riding on the road is against the law for that section. We were warned by the police about this, even though it was 5am and the roads were deserted. Although, given that they have spent such a lot of money on these cycle paths it would be churlish to shun them. The route now took us south into France

Do it yourself Last year we rode Brussels-Paris-Brussels and posted about it here: All in all, this was a great trip and recommended. Certainly the cycling over there is far better than anything in south-east England. Belgian drivers seem more polite to cyclists and those perfect canalside, straight traffic-free roads have to be ridden to be believed. Furthermore, by and large there are no language problems in Belgium or the Netherlands as everyone seems to speak English. France, not so much… This area also lends itself to the DIY by GPS – it would be a cheap and easy matter to take the bike to Dunkirk and put up a tent at a campsite, ride the 50k to Ostend then do the northern 300k loop we rode and add 50k back to Dunkirk to make an interesting 400k ride in an engaging part of the world. For those prepared to deal with receptionists and carry bikes upstairs to a room there are F1 hotels along the coast. Details of the 2016 Belgian calendar can be found online here: Kalender_2016_detail.pdf

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OSTEND 600 At the start

Obligatory apple cake and cream


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where the cycle paths disappeared. The first control on this southern section was at Bourbourg, where I took money out of a cash machine for a receipt as proof of passage. We then found a cafe for a sit-down and a coffee, and Andre, another rider on the 600, came in and asked where there was a patisserie, he nipped round the corner to the baker’s and brought in a pastry and they didn’t object to him eating food bought elsewhere. Rather different from a UK cafe. We then endured a strong headwind, lots of hills on narrow roads with impolite drivers to Wissant where we found a baker’s and a café for a coffee. By the end of this event I felt I was starting to look like a cup of coffee. Then along more narrow roads with lots of hills and fast traffic to Boulogne-sur-Mer where the nice chap at the Nausicaa maritime centre tourist office stamped my brevet. The next control was the finish 150k away, at the organiser’s house (rather than the finish shown on the routesheet). Titus had dropped me by then so I was alone. He later went into a bar for coffee and to fill up his bidons and after the bar owner asked him what he was doing, gave Titus one of those “you English are all mad” looks and wouldn’t take any money. From now we were heading north through territory that was very lumpy indeed and to add to our pleasure it began to rain. I reverted to the 24 inch gear more than once. One particular hill was absolute misery – steep, long, and in heavy rain as I plodded up, dreaming of how easy Ditchling Beacon seemed. Then it rained more and rained even more than that. The cheap waterproof was very light but not very waterproof. I was cold. It was windy. Lunch was taken sitting on a concrete step with a bottle of cold water and a three-day-old supermarket sandwich. The glamour was overwhelming. Then, suddenly the world changed. The rain stopped. I noticed the tailwind. I was on one of those dead straight roads with the cycle paths made of perfect tarmac. I was down on the aerobars and tanking along at 25kph, sometimes more. It was one of those memorable experiences, the best you get on a bike. The sort of riding you dream of - the road to yourself, flat, tailwind, warm. Unusually for an audax, no part of my body hurt. Much, anyway. About 8pm I rode past the deserted “finish” on the routesheet, on the way to the organiser’s house. I rang the bell. No reply. Went round the back to see if he was in the garden, nope. Rang the bell. Realised he was out. Peeked into a white circular container by his gate and saw some brevets in there. Pushed mine through the slot and rode to our flat. No record of my time. After 10 hours in bed we drove back to his house to say thanks and ask if there were any problems. Still no reply to the doorbell. I’d have liked to shake his hand and thank him for a memorable weekend of superb riding. As it was, I had to make do with a letter of profuse thanks posted from home. The whole thing was fun – at least, in the section north of the Boulogne hills… I can see why cycling is the Belgian national sport. I’ll be back.


Wheel of Fortune If you reckon there’s no good climbing in southeast England, the Grimpeurs du Sud rides might make you think again Words & photography by Martin Malins


estling under the South Downs with a steep hill either side is the charming hamlet of Catherington. There is a wheel on the village sign which represents the treadwheel which stood in the village until very recently when the whole wheel and wheelhouse was relocated to the excellent Weald and Downland Open Air Museum nearby in Singleton. Twice a year this sleepy place becomes a hive of Audax activity thanks to the sterling efforts of Jonathan Stainton Ellis and his willing band of helpers. The area holds a special appeal to me as it’s where I did some of my first AUK rides when they were organised by Pam Pilbeam. Being the other side of the Downs they guarantee superb views from the top and also provide a gentle introduction to AAA rides, being just over threshold at 1500m ascent (and therefore qualifying also for Grimpeurs du Sud). The 100km rides have changed names a few times and are now known as Le Bois Ocaude; one in spring and one in autumn. The spring ride starts with a steady climb up to Harting Hill before rolling up and down, with a backdrop of the Downs through beautifully quiet lanes to Lasham. There is a choice of controls here. The garden centre café offers big breakfasts but also sadly bigger queues, so I find the nearby local airfield much

nicer. As well as gliders there are also many other types of aircraft including vintage jet airliners, and when I did the ride this March I was treated to the awesome and deafening take-off of one of the few remaining airworthy Boeing 727s. Then it’s back to more quiet rolling lanes, where the vintage transport theme continues as you pass over the Watercress Line with its steam engines working hard to pull trains up the steep gradients. Then two more ascents of the South Downs either side of the sleepy Meon Valley, neither is excessively steep and the second offers the best view of the whole ride at Old Winchester Hill. On a clear day you can see right up to Box Hill and also the Isle of Wight. The last little kick takes you back to the finish where a superb spread of sandwiches and cakes awaits. This is especially welcome on an ECE to provide fuel for the return leg! The autumn version goes to Whitchurch, taking a completely different outward route to the spring ride, but still featuring the ascents of the Downs an passing through pretty, sleepy, little villages such as Stoke Charity and Cheriton. The finish over Old Winchester Hill is always a welcome sight. Keep an eye out for these rides in the calendar – you will not be disappointed.

EVENTS Le Bois Ocaude de Printemps 100 / Le Bois Ocaude d’Automne 100 DATE 19th March 2016 / 12th November 2016 DISTANCE 105km (AAA 1.5) / 106km (AAA 1.5) LOCATION Catherington, nr Portsmouth ORGANISER Jonathan Ellis, Hantspool CC

Stuart Low on Old Winchester Hill

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Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


Our Oldest Manche-Med 1,000km Rider? A challenge for older readers… Words Sheila Simpson, Photography Julie Hodgetts


ryce Mansfield completed his 1,000km Sea to Sea (Manche to Med) Permanent ride on the 19th June this year – just one day after his 82nd birthday. So far as I know, he is the oldest rider to complete this event. Does anyone else have a claim on this title? Bryce rode from the port of Ouistreham, north of Caen, to the Mediterranean at Maguelone, just south of Montpellier, through Normandy, Loire, Limousin, Auvergne and the Languedoc with a CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours group of 14, led by Nic & Julie Hodgetts. Not the flattest route but the most scenic. Two groups will be riding next year on roughly the same route, one leaving on the 5th May, led by Mike Diederich and the second on the 10th June, led by Nic & Julie (dates provisional depending on European Bike Express). n For more details of the Sea to Sea (Manche to Med) 14-day Brevet Populaire permanent, organised by Sheila Simpson, visit the permanents page of the AUK website at:

EVENT Valley of the Rocks 200 DATE 2nd April 2016 DISTANCE 205km (AAA 4) LOCATION Honiton, Devon ORGANISER Ian Hennessey, Exeter Wheelers PHOTO by Chris Beynon

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Photography by Ivo Miesen


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f you’re a member of Audax UK, and have been since 25 March 2015, you hold a guaranteed place for next year’s London Edinburgh London. If you’re thinking about riding, we thought you’d appreciate some news about how you can get your place. We’ll open for entries from Audax UK members and people on our guaranteed entry list on 6 January 2017. You’ll then have until 20 January 2017 to claim your place before we open entry to everyone. The entry fee for London Edinburgh London will be £319. This will include: n A fantastic route from London to Edinburgh and back n Route sheet, GPX and TCX tracks n Signposting for nearly 25% of the route n Validation of your ride with Audax UK and Les Randonneurs Mondiaux n All food, plus hot and cold drinks at controls n Beds in dormitories n Hot showers (hopefully!) n Two bag drops to selected controls n Moto crew assistance along the route in Scotland, and a lift back to the nearest control if you get completely stranded. During the early entry/guaranteed entry period, you will be able to pay us by bank transfer only. Unfortunately we cannot accept Paypal for early or guaranteed entries, as Paypal will not release enough of your payment in time for us to run the event successfully. If you are entering from outside the United Kingdom, then Transferwise (www. will allow you to make an international bank transfer using your debit or credit card. If you want to pay by Paypal, we will release a limited number of entries by Paypal, at a price of £329, when we open to everyone on 20 January 2017. If you’ve any questions about this, contact us and we’ll do our best to help. See you in London,

The London Edinburgh London team

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Second time a charm

Thwarted by misfortune in 2015, John Thompson returns to Surrey for a few pints of ‘Tea’ and a more successful weekend of cycling Words & photography by John Thompson EVENT The Nearly Stonehenge 200 DATE 5th June 2016 DISTANCE 209km LOCATION Elstead, Surrey ORGANISER Nicholas Davison, CTC West Surrey WEBSITE


till smarting from having made such a disaster of this ride in 2015, I was determined to ride this event this year. Last year, I finished outside time, partly due to two punctures but mainly – no doubt some can guess! – to inattention to the route sheet causing me to spend serious time off-route. As usual with events a fair way from home, I made a long weekend of it travelling by rail to Godalming on the Friday, returning on the Monday. Having made a reasonable job of finding my way across London from Liverpool Street to Waterloo on arrival at Godalming I found a nice tea shop on the edge of the town centre for a light-bite before riding the six miles to Elstead. By a good coincidence it was the first day it started warming up after those several days of an unseasonal – even by British summer’s standards! – cold northerly wind. The forecast had indicated it would warm up getting gradually better over the weekend with Sunday – the day of the event – being the best day. After such ridiculously cold weather it was really nice to feel the sun and encouraging to feel the need to remove the long-sleeve top. It was only after 2 miles in Milford that I was reminded of a mistake. It came back to me that last year I meant to make a mental note that Milford, not Godalming, is the closest station to Elstead. Clearly I had forgotten very quickly – I hope it’s not an age thing! No, I wasn’t bothered about having to ride 6 miles instead of 4, it was just the saving time factor. That said – unless AUK members in the area know different – I’m not sure I would have found anywhere for a light bite other than the village store and I saved a little money with the slightly shorter rail journey. I admit the route I took was the direct one along busy roads, the A3100 from Godalming to Milford, then a short stretch along the A283 to turn left onto the B3301. In 2015 I had been interested to spot a road called Old Elstead Road suggesting there was a quieter route but I admit I didn’t check it out. Having now perused the map, there is a route through the lanes, which barely adds to the distance, so next time!

‘Fuelling station’ for the weekend


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In 2015, Google enabled me to find seemingly the only bed and breakfast in Elstead called Hunters Moon. It’s run by John and Prue Henstridge, an elderly but obliging couple. Also from 2015 I knew where to go for evening meal; The Woolpack pub. It’s run by Italians and it’s interesting it’s like the Colonsay hotel I used on my Scottish tour in that it’s also run by Italians and the food ‘theme’ was the same. While there were pasta and such like dishes, the food was predominantly English but the desserts were more Italian, one’s choice made from a trolley. Friday was fish night and Saturday was steak night. Both nights the proprietor walked me to a trolley displaying the main courses pre-cooked to explain what was available. The only slight problem was that on Friday evening I misunderstood and thought it was just the fish available when in fact the full menu was. It isn’t that I would have preferred something off the full menu but I didn’t get a starter... well... I didn’t really need three courses after six miles so I suppose it was good for my self-discipline! I forget now which fish and dessert I had but do remember it was all very good. There were also some good ales available. The proprietor recommended T.E.A., which Google indicates is produced by the Hog’s Back brewery. What amused me is that the plaque on the pump didn’t have any full stops between the letters (or at least I didn’t notice any), i.e. it read as “Tea” so that is what I was asking for a pint of! The proprietor being Italian I thought he might appreciate my joking that “Tea” was an appropriate name for an English beer. He smiled seemingly in understanding of what I was saying but didn’t seem particularly impressed with my attempt at humour! However, I was pleased I accepted his recommendation – a good beer! On the Saturday in 2015 I visited the Devil’s Punchbowl. This year I went much in the opposite direction. I broadly worked out a route through lanes that would be close to parts of the route of the event but not on it and would skirt and briefly pass through

At the start

NEARLY STONEHENGE 200 Just after the Chute Forest, around 77km

the North Downs National Park. I did however initially follow the event route for the first 2 miles or so along the B3301 towards Farnham. I hadn’t forgotten about the stingy hill on the event route hardly one-mile out of Elstead. While I’m sure most cyclists know Suffolk isn’t as flat as it’s often perceived to be, in my corner of east Suffolk we don’t tend to get them that soon or steep! Shortly after giving it my best shot I turned right along a pleasant wooded lane, to find another fair hill! I continued along pleasant lanes to the picturesque village of Seale, and then through Tongham to Aldershot. No offence to Aldershot or any readers who live there but that wasn’t the greatest part of the ride, trying to find my way around, going past the barracks before realising I was going back on myself so re-tracing past them again. You might question why that should be a surprise as riding through towns is often like that. It wasn’t a surprise but as I hadn’t been to Aldershot before I was interested to see it and parts of the centre are nice. After a short stretch of busy main road riding to get out of town it was soon back into more pleasant lanes through Crookham and Crondall to Bentley, Considering the south-east is hardly the quietest part of the UK they were quiet lanes and I don’t just mean relatively speaking. Also, while not in the National Park they are close to it thus giving nice views of it, particularly in the sunshine – the forecast was continuing to be proved right! At Bentley my ‘anorak’ instincts took over when I saw the sign for the station. Having looked it over and satisfied my curiosity I returned to my route to pass briefly through the National Park via Blacknest, Dockerfield, Millbridge and the particularly picturesque village of Tilford. I arrived back at Elstead nicely at one o’clock for an omelette and pot of tea in the charming Little Barn cafe, the name explaining what it used to be. My understanding is that it only opened as a cafe after conversion in early 2015. My intention was to have a lazy afternoon after a ‘stretch the legs’ ride the day before the big one so I lingered in the cafe having a refill of the teapot. I returned to the digs and spent

the afternoon doing ‘strenuous’ things like strolling into the village to take photo’s, reading and cat-napping. Just before wandering to The Woolpack I watched the weather forecast, which again confirmed that Sunday should be an even better day. If I remember correctly, I went along with the proprietor’s recommendation of the fillet steak – didn’t check if he was recommending the most expensive! I made sure I didn’t make the same mistake I made on the Friday evening and asked for the menu to choose a starter. Again, while I forget what it was, I think I went along with the proprietor’s recommendation! Yes, I did also have a dessert but obviously I was stocking up for the next day – would anybody do anything different? Afterwards, I sat in the bar relaxing over a few pints of T.E.A. with the satisfying feeling of while not having done a long ride nevertheless having covered some new ground through nice lanes and villages. I wandered back to the digs feeling relaxed but tired enough to be confident I would fall asleep easily, which I think is the best way to feel the night before. On Sunday morning riding the short distance from the digs to the HQ at Elstead village hall just before 7.00 it was overcast. That had been forecast for early morning but indicating it wouldn’t be long before the sun broke through. At the HQ it was the traditional ‘ritual’ before the start of AUK events of tea and biscuits and chatting. Coming out of the HQ just for the 8.00 start, yes, the sky had cleared and it was sunny. However, there was still some early morning coolness so for the time being I decided against removing any layers. The first few kilometres are along the B3001 to Farnham, so again up the stingy hill after barely the first mile. This means it wasn’t long before I was alone! If I had made myself suffer more I might have stayed with those younger riders longer but these days, approaching my 63rd birthday, I’m more comfortable riding at my pace. I can be philosophical about younger riders being quicker than me but I admit it’s sometimes demoralising when riders who look older than me come past. I resolve it’s probably because they ride more events than me and more regularly in hillier areas and also

they only LOOK older. I tend to be poor at guessing peoples ages, often astounded they are younger than me. It’s surely because I look so young for my nearly 63 years – that is something frequently confirmed to me! Joking aside and not looking for excuses, I ride a Thorn Audax frame and Schwalbe tyres. Those two factors probably don’t help. However, I’m happy to tolerate it because I like the robustness of the frame for the type of riding I use it for, which is touring generally, and I like the puncture resistance of Schwalbe tyres – ah, you remember I had two punctures in 2015. Here’s the story: the tyre I was using last year was one I bought at Ullapool in an emergency situation while touring west Scotland in 2014. Although it wasn’t a Schwalbe, I thought nevertheless it was a good puncture resistant tyre. Therefore I was baffled why I was having so many punctures. I put it down to bad luck possibly combined with the fact that as they were all slow punctures perhaps I wasn’t finding them properly. After the disaster in this event in 2015 I decided it was time to speak to my clubmate who runs the local cycle shop. He advised it was only a basic tyre so I replaced it with a Schwalbe. Back to this year’s ride. After carefully following the route instructions through Farnham, it was soon into lanes, close to the route I used on Saturday, through Well and Long Sutton – no, not the one in Lincolnshire. Even I don’t go that badly off-route! These lanes were the start of the recurring theme of the day of nice views of rolling Surrey (sometimes of the North Downs National Park), Hampshire and Wiltshire countryside and picturesque villages. On this first leg, Axford made me think of carpets until I realised I had got the name muddled and although Overton hostel has been closed since1992 and I never used it anyway, it brought back nostalgic memories. The first control was at H’s coffee shop in Whitchurch (53.9km). This was a nice CTC recommended establishment, not least because of the pretty and pleasant young blonde waitress! As I had only cereal for breakfast (although they were an obliging couple at the digs, it didn’t stretch to getting up early to cook a full breakfast. It’s interesting

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Outside Whitchurch control

Her first audax – a quick learner!

Plaque outside the Whitchurch control indicating that it was the birthplace of former Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning


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how some will do it and some won’t) and a few biscuits at the HQ, I decided it was appropriate to take the opportunity for serious food intake – yes, despite how much I had stocked up the evening before! I didn’t have the full English but I had something very similar, as did a number of others including a lady on her first audax – obviously a quick learner! On coming out of the control I spotted the plaque on the wall indicating it was the birthplace of the former Master of the Rolls, the late Lord Denning. I decided it was worth a photo. I also decided it was time to remove longs and long-sleeve top. Actually it had been time for it some miles back and most had sensibly already done so, but being me I don’t like stopping any more than necessary between controls. The next leg was just under 15km to the info control at Wildhern (68km) and then to the next info control at Ludgershall war memorial (83km). This involves a particularly nice few miles through lanes partly wooded and with nice views around Chute Forest. Very pleasant even though you had to suffer for having had a fast descent! Onwards from Ludgershall along the A3026 to Tidworth, it was on turning left onto the A338 that I studied the route sheet carefully as this was the point where I went off-route in 2015. I managed to avoid a ‘repeat performance.’ The route goes past Bulford army camp and then there are good views of Salisbury Plain for the final 10km to Amesbury control. It’s an exposed road so I was pleased there wasn’t the headwind there was in 2015 – particularly demoralising having lost so much time going off-route! Just before Amesbury is the one short part of the route which perhaps isn’t so great, involving a big and quite busy roundabout and passing industrial and retail outlets. However, it didn’t last long and parts of the centre of Amesbury are very nice. I decided the old-world buildings were worth a photo. The control was the Friar Tuck cafe and considering what I had at Whitchurch I was amazed – yes, even for me! – to feel hungry enough for more than a light bite. I hesitated wondering if I was thinking I was more hungry than I was. However, as there was still 108km to ride in a hillier area than normal for me I resolved I was worrying too much – lasagne, chips and salad went down well. Having emptied a pot of tea, I decided to have a banana milk shake. I had done that before at the Oundle control on the Cambridge Pork Pie 200 and it really hit the spot to get me through the final 50 km or so. I’ve been pondering why that is. I’m sure it’s because of the milk, which is supposedly isotonic and particularly so if they have ice cream in them, which also has milk in it (I’ve mentioned before that ice cream seems to go down well on tough rides, at least for me). Getting out of Amesbury was quite busy. A number of main roads converge there and closeness to Stonehenge might be another factor. Being honest, I also lost a bit of time by initially misreading the instruction and starting to go towards Stonehenge, climbing a bit of a hill before realising my mistake.

NEARLY STONEHENGE 200 Anyway, once out of the town there was about 7km along the A345 before turning left back into the lanes to The Winterbournes to the info control at Pitton (115.8km). It was here that I maintained my reputation by going off-route, ironically at a point where I didn’t in 2015. However, I’m not convinced it was really my fault. The route sheet instruction was “L @ Xrds, SP Winterton” Firstly, from the direction of approach it wasn’t strictly speaking a crossroads, but more importantly I’m sure the signpost said Winterslow, not Winterton. I lost some time here as I started climbing a 14% hill, which I felt sure I couldn’t remember from 2015 so retraced back to the signpost in Pitton village and, yes, I’m sure it said Winterslow. What I didn’t take in at the time was that shortly the instruction was to go to West Winterslow. In hindsight I have a vague feeling that in 2015 I did resolve it was probably a ‘typo’ and took the chance. Even more ironically, I particularly remembered the info control at the post office as it was where I discovered one of my slow punctures! On this occasion however, I returned to tackling the 14% not happy I needed to be and at the next junction my doubt was confirmed. Fortunately the signpost left indicated West Winterslow so I was soon back on route and got to the next info control at Houghton without further difficulty. However, the info control did cause another ‘difficulty.’ It was by a pub, the first of four passed where a lot of people were sitting outside relaxing and enjoying the sun over drinks. It seemed a far more sensible way to spend a warm Sunday afternoon and it took a lot of discipline not to stop to join them! Anyway, onwards to the next control at Alresford and in less that 2km, in Kings Somborne, I passed the next pub. This one required even more discipline not to stop as two cyclists had succumbed to temptation – not sure if they were on the audax. The next one was at 155.7km where the A33 is crossed. After a stretch along the B3047 there is a right turn along particularly nice lanes through Easton – where the next lot of outside drinkers were – past Avington manor and along part of NCR 23. I had a nervous moment as there were barriers with a road closed sign near the manor but it was a short stretch and okay on a bike. However, I was surprised and it caused me to look at the ride notes to see if there was anything about it. Sure enough, the notes indicated that this year because of roadworks the route would go direct along the B3047. Yes I know, it was a silly time to be reading them! I wonder if the notes included clarification about the ‘typo.’

I was looking at my watch a lot over the final few miles as I knew I was getting close to the cut-off time for Alresford control. That said, it didn’t really matter as it was only a full control until 4.00 pm when the cafe at the heritage railway station closes. After that there was an info question provided in the ride notes. Nevertheless, pride meant I still wanted to be inside the time and I did it with 5 minutes in hand. I suppose it gave me an idea of what it must be like for Mark Cavendish trying to avoid elimination in the mountain stages of the Tour! I had a little difficulty at the control. I forget what the info question was but I couldn’t for the life of me find what we were told to look for. After a few minutes of dithering I used something else – organiser, Nick Davison accepted it. Despite being close to the limit at that control, with just 25 miles to go I decided I had time to succumb to the Tesco Express. Although I had plenty in my bottles, I felt I wanted to taste something different – I’m sure you know what I mean! Also, I felt a short stop to get ‘second wind’ would be beneficial. After an orange juice, a chocolate bar and a Sprite – what a combination! – it was onwards to the finish. Everything went fine until with just 12kms to go I got confused by the route instructions around Thurley – whether it was me or not I don’t know – and lost probably a fair amount of time finding the way back on-route. Eventually I did to finish in 13 hours 20 minutes. Not one of my quicker rides but I did go further than probably everyone else and it included a 14% hill! That caused a laugh at the HQ when I explained to Nick how I missed the info control at Pitton and asked if he would accept the gradient of the hill I climbed unnecessarily. Nick was happy to accept I was being honest and wro te in the actual answer for me. Although I was ‘lanterne rouge’ it was only by about 35 minutes. A group from Portsmouth finished about 8.45 pm, I believe having succumbed to one of the pubs – sensible perhaps! Anyway, despite some trips off-route, I was pleased to have put right last year’s failure. On Monday morning I rode back to Godalming station and sat on the train reflecting on a satisfying trip. True to form though, I made a ‘pigs ear’ of riding from Waterloo to Liverpool Street. I think I got the exits at Waterloo mixed up so didn’t start on the road I thought I was. Finally, it’s occurred to me I forgot to do something on finishing. On the route sheet there was an instruction “descend steep hill...” at 175.8km. I meant to query with Nick why it wasn’t mentioned you then have to climb it – I mean as a ‘leg pull’ of course!

Around 104km, on the road to the Winterbournes

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OCD News from Rod Dalitz


hree members reported errors in my table of OCD claims for 2015. Yes, I have to apologise, I have overlooked errors which were essentially due to my computer printing only part of a spreadsheet, for some unknown reason. It is no excuse to point to the volume of claims, I am delighted that so many riders are interested in claiming cols. Perhaps the initial surge of claims, with some riders going back to 1980, will reduce next year, but there are many AUK members who have found that claiming OCD Cols is good fun, and long may that continue. n Editor’s note: When submitting your ride reports to Arrivée, please flag up any OCD claims (for cols over 300m) to ensure we are able to highlight these appropriately in the magazine.

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The Call of the Wild With no PBP or LEL this year, what better way to pass the time than an epic 2,100km ride up Ireland’s rugged west coast? Words & photography by Phil Whitehurst



“….Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory, Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole? “Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story, Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul? Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders? (You’ll never hear it in the family pew). The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things -Then listen to the Wild -- it’s calling you…..” An extract from Call of the Wild by Robert E. Service 20

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hat inspires us, what motivates us, what causes us to dream, what causes us to reach out beyond the norm? What chance encounters lead us down paths less travelled? What is it we seek in these long distance adventures? What happens to us when we dare to not just dream but do? What of those who do the same as us? Is it the same for them? I am drawn as a moth to a long distance flame. The flames get ever brighter, ever mesmerising, and ever hotter. Sometimes the flame burns me, shrinks my wings, and I am forced in to a spiral to land for a spell. But nature dictates I’ll set off again seeking the hottest, brightest and most mesmerising flame in my vision. The flames flicker and splutter casting shadows, they talk to me, leading me forward in my journey. So onto chance encounters and the tiny deflections and ripples in reality they create. Loudeac on the return from Brest. On the return journey within the experience called PBP 2015. A happy relaxing time, physically and mentally feeling good, sleep deprived enough to make it a dream world, but awake enough to remember.

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX Into the dream world enters Eamon Nealon. He shares a dream within this dream. A dream of cycling the entire west coast of Ireland as an Audax. With the energy and enthusiasm of a thousand Suns, he plants the seed of the “Wild Atlantic Way Audax”. Then we carry on, on our separate ways back to Paris. The seed is planted so deeply within my cranium, that it takes a while for the light to reach it. The light of my sub conscious begins to dance and swirl around it, probing it, and slowly it begins to flicker to life. Not until October 2015 does it enter the visible spectrum of conscious thought. Just as the ancient light of a thousand billion galaxies containing a thousand billion stars illuminates the night sky, so the light of the Wild Atlantic Way begins to illuminate the dark sky of my mind. The constellations of neurones flicker to life, a light storm of the mind moving beyond the speed of thought, growing stronger by the day, energy and matter transformed, reality shifts and shifts again, I’m dizzy. I’m hopelessly, wonderfully, lost in the grip of the Wild. I am drawn as a moth to the long distance flame of the Wild Atlantic Way Audax.


Training is an inadequate word for what is happening to me. I laugh, I cry, I smile, I frown, I sweat, I shiver, I succeed, I become confident, I fail, I become doubtful, I sob, I throw up, I exhale, I repeat, I move on, forever onwards. This is not how it is meant to be. My emotions my very self is cast upon that Wild Atlantic in the months leading up. At the mercy of the waves my essence begins to dissipate as concentric ripples in the ocean. Rising and falling with the swell. Whe n all seems lost the ripples of my essence reflect back from the coast and I am recast whole again. The wild is beckoning me forward, she’s drawing me into her embrace, and protestations that I am not ready will not do. I am caught in her gravity, being pulled towards her event horizon. There can be no escape. She is ready for me, and that is all that matters. Reality has shifted again.


What makes us confident? How can we know where success lies? What does confidence mean? Does success breed success, and failure breed failure? Which do we learn more from, success or failure? Does confidence lead to success? Where do your doubts lead to? What can I say when you ask if I feel confident? My very answer can affect the way I feel inside. If I say I have doubts, I have worries, will you offer me words of motivation and encouragement? Your words will not help me. I need to be clear of your noise. Do not be offended. I must enter the embrace of the wild alone, you cannot help me.


The week before and all is prepared. With nothing more to do I enter a period of calm. The calm before the storm, sitting in the eye of a hurricane? I cannot tell, for the future and past seem blind to me. I’m beginning to enter the now. I travel down with Stuart Blofeld by train and ferry. Sleep has not been forthcoming, delayed ferry, a train full of kids at full volume, a tired and late arrival, sorting and packing drop bags after 11pm. We start the event with little sleep, getting up to the alarm at 4:15am.

EVENT Wild Atlantic Way Audax DATE 17-24 June 2016 DISTANCE 2,100km LOCATION Louragh, Co Kerry ORGANISER Eamon Nealon, Audax Ireland WEBSITE


KINSALE – KENMARE 0-320KM Eamon is a special sort. A first encounter and you’ll not be quite sure what to make of him. Have you offended him in some way? Is there something you’ve misunderstood? But persevere. You’ll find that he has a heart of gold inside that exterior. He greets us warmly as though he’s put on the Wild Atlantic Way Audax just for the two of us. You could see it in his eyes; the genuine warmth with a hint of mischief

Breakfast with Stuart and Andy, Kinsale

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Heading west beyond Timoleague

that is but a blink away. A breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast in the local café with Stuart Blofeld and Andy Nuttall. Both riding Elliptigos. They have their own brilliant stories to tell, as does everyone who stepped into the wild that day. The café has a number of motivational quotes / pictures on the wall. I remember this one “Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” The café has a subdued energy, potential energy waiting to be transformed into the kinetic. Outside to collect bike. Eamon introduces me to Paul to help him with a GPS he was using the very first time. We roll quietly down to the start, by a large mast, the harbour sleeps, sailing boats bob on the gentle waves. The whole softly lit. The wild reaches out with her long slender fingers and strokes my skin with the lightest of touches. It’s electric, my skin begins to tingle. A few motivational words from Eamon, a warning about leaning bikes on the Campervan used as a control, and with a countdown and a cheer the embrace of the wild begins at 6am on Fri 17th June 2016. The journey begins with a Garda escort for the first few km and then we are set free. The roads are rough and this slows the bikes with the skinniest of tyres. Thankful for titanium and 28mm tubeless, I float in a group of 15 or so riders. Slow burn, slow burn, the candle must last for 7 days. The roads are empty and peaceful. Skylarks sing above us, gulls skim over the water. We weave around the coast, sea glinting in the sun. The road gently rises and falls, passing in and out of inlets, riders already on the opposite side. We enter and leave the small fishing villages of County Cork. Occasionally the road rises away from the sea to climb over a head land before dropping back. A turn missed on a climb, mistaken for a farm track, only ½ km gained, not to worry. A campervan in the distance resolves into the Baltimore control. A directive to complete a short loop round the village. I settle into a


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chair for tea with chocolate bourbons and cake. A brief chat with John Sabine and off towards Mizen. More golden sand beaches tempt me. A group of us including Birgit, Nick Dale, Paddy, Meyrick, Pete Turnbull and others reach a village, where we stop at a café. Mint ice cream and a chicken panini in that order for me. The quickest riders are already returning from Mizen. I am captivated by the scenery returning from Mizen. I can no longer resist the wilds charms. I stop, remove my shoes and socks, and feel the golden sands between my toes. A little paddle and then I sit a few minutes as my heart slows my mind empties. The fingers of the wild move beyond my skin and begin to caress my heart and mind. The day grows hot, I sweat, and I begin to recognise all too familiar symptoms. I’m losing energy, growing tired, my appetite diminishes, and a mild nausea takes hold. I stop at a pub with bikes outside. A fellow rider leaves me some salted chips. I have lemonade. I remove my blue hat and it has turned white encrusted

as it is with so much of my life sustaining salts. I ask to fill my water bottles and for my hat to be soaked in water to cool. I remember the quote “Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible….” I regulate my output, dropping my pace. I drink and take on the salty foods that I can. I keep moving forward. I see signs to Kenmare and foolishly calculate an arrival around 11:30pm. As we reach a sign saying 27km to Kenmare the route turns left and heads north in a loop taking in Healy Pass. Here as I climb the first rise, Eamon and Seamus jump out their van, announcing a secret control with great joy. Brevet marked, an exchange of humour. I’m on my way again. The Healy Pass ascends a remote rocky and mountainous area. It is alpine in scale and grandeur as it makes the sinuous climb up those slopes, combining hairpins with long straights. We are now heading into the last light of the day. I can see the red tail lights of riders ahead and make out the crossing point high above me. The climb is slow and steady, enough to keep me warm as the air begins to cool. I crest the pass. The headlands and inlets to the north are spread out as shadows below me. The lights of the towns twinkle. The sea a silky ribbon rests between the shadows. Tahe Moon projects beyond the clouds lighting the way. It’s just after 11pm and a faint light lingers in the sky, reluctant to leave. I too am reluctant to leave. I pause letting a bit more of wild into me, and more of me into the wild. The headwind drops, the night is becalmed. Descend I must before Morpheus takes a hold. At the bottom I reach a T junction with a bottle bank. Cooled by the descent I sit down and put on my night layers to keep warm for the last 23km to Kenmare. A rider passes asking if I’m alright. Yes, all is well, despite my dehydration and loss of appetite. I am doing what’s necessary. The dozies begin to attack. I find myself closing my eyes on my bike. I stop in the middle of the road. Put my arms on my handle

Looking back from Healy Pass Photo: © Johnny Collins/Jcollins Productions

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX bars, close my eyes, and rest my head for a few minutes. I set off again, gain a few more km, then once again stop, feet either side of bike, arms crossed on bars, head on arms. During one such time Eamon and Seamus pass and stop in their van. He jokes that I’m spending more time asleep on my bike than riding. I respond he’s probably right. Only 20 mins he says, yes 20 mins riding and 20 mins sleep I respond. Good to see you still have your humour Phil, good to see, and they are off. I reach Kenmare, at 1:15am. I’m utterly fatigued to the bone with no appetite. I decide that sleep is my priority. Straight to bed. I opt for 5 hours sleep. I know from past experience that dehydration and appetite issues have been successfully dealt with by extended rest. I crawl into my personal sleeping bag, in the clothes I’m in, sleep comes quickly.


KENMARE – BALLYHEIGUE 322-642KM Another day, and into County Kerry. I awake, lazily pack my sleeping bag. Corn flakes and bacon sandwiches. I down a whole jug of fruit juice, have multiple cups of sugared tea. I linger over the breakfast having not eaten when I arrived. I find I cannot eat too quickly. During this time Stuart and Andy appear having come in perhaps an hour ago. Breakfast, Kenmare

The sun cream is once more applied and I set off into what promises to be another fine day. Not far on the edge of Kenmare I stop. It is already too hot for my overnight gear and I strip a layer or two from upper half. Stuart and Andy pass. I catch them up and we ride together for a while, filming and chatting. I move ahead. I pass Tony Greenwood and then catch Birgit Zimmerman. Birgit and I ride together, the road has gentle gradients a good surface. Trees are either side of the road with the sea to the left. I breathe the scents in the air as we glide along. Before long we are on the ring of Kerry. Another day, another county. A long climb sees runners coming the opposite way, with support cars. We’ll see the runners for a while as they are doing a sponsored relay the opposite way round the ring to us. The climb continues for a good few km as the views open out to the mountains ahead. The landscape is gradually changing, and cycle pace is perfect for that transition. A light drizzle begins to fall, gradually getting heavier.

Early on, Ring of Kerry

I stop to put my jacket on. Gradually I pull away from Birgit. A fast descent, an extended flat, two more climbs sees me over to Finians Bay. My gaze darts across to the Islands, filtered through sea mist and rain. I try and capture it on my camera but cannot for I am seeing with more than my eyes. Where the landscape ends and I begin is beginning to blur. A long climb with off camber bends and steep gradients. Nuno Lopes passes me here, then I pass him, before he once more passes. A final ramp reaches for the sky, a heart rate of 500 bpm and the patience of a saint sees me finally crest this pass. An extremely fast and straight descent sees me reach Port Magee where the campervan control awaits us. We move the table under the awning and gain brief respite from the rain. Sugared tea, chocolate bourbons and custard creams. My appetite is improving but is still fussy as to what can be eaten. Today is slated as the hardest of the ride. With 4 climbs before lunchtime it certainly feels different to the first day, where the big climbs were concentrated at the end of day. A few hours into the wind and rain sees Castlemaine Control reached. A pub on the turn with a bike outside. Birgit inside having a coffee. I join her, dripping onto the tables and chairs. A coke and two packets of bacon fries, plus a receipt. The rugby is on, Ireland vs. South Africa. It makes for a welcome interlude, and a chance to dry a little and gain warmth. On to Dingle the traffic increases to a trickle. I catch Stuart and Andy, pass they must have whilst I was in the pub. After discussing the superior view they have from their lofty positions I move ahead. It’s a busy place with tourist coaches and cars, a shock after the solitude of many of the sections so far. On the climb up to Slea Head. The traffic disappears. The rain lashes my face. A mist moves in, shrinking my world. The wind hurls the rain at me and slows my progress. I see a ford ahead and commit to my line for crossing. Too late I see the ford is cobbled and my GPS is thrown from its mounting. I successfully cross then turn to look for my GPS. It’s there floating in the stream. Re-attached it seems to have suffered no harm. As I reach Slea head I turn the corner and enter the lea of the wind. I dismount my bike by the statues. All is calm in the mist

and rain. I can hear the muffled sound of the waves coming up against the cliffs. A profound peace settles, all alone, but at one with this time and place. The wild’s embrace grows tighter. Continuing on the loop I am surprised at the extra hills. Dingle I stop to eat. The fish and chips I’ve ordered is beautifully cooked. My stomach rejects it. David Coupe has joined me and has a sheesh kebab. It smells nice. I try a bit and find it goes down okay. I order sheesh kebab with a lightly spiced sauce. Eating is slow but bit by bit I finish it. The owner refuses to take payment for the fish and chips I was unable to eat. A random act of kindness.

Misty, wet and windy, Slea Head

I pass the pubs of Dingle, light music and laughter drifting out. So tempting. I turn left and join the long climb up Connor Pass, the highest in Ireland. David is ahead but not in sight. I pass signs saying turn back now. Wise advice. The wind picks up, the rain gets heavier. I can see lights neither ahead or behind. I crest the pass just before midnight. The wind is blowing a hoolie. I take a selfie, one eye closed, as the rain lashes my face. I start the steep descent, the road is narrow with hairpins. My GPS detaches a couple of times on the bends, and I have to stop to retrieve it, luckily its backlight makes it easy to spot. The wind is blowing me sideways, the road is wet. It is a battle to maintain my line. Descent is cautious. Eventually the gradient eases. The road straightens, allows me to pick up speed and drop out of the worst of this weather. Like clockwork the dozies attack. I repeat the tactic of the previous night, then away again. The wind eases and the rain stops. Every few minutes, taxis from Dingle pass

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WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX by. Whilst having an extended doze by a bridge, I hear the voices of Stuart, Andy and John Sabine. Stuart offers me 3 pro plus. It works a little but I’m not wired awake like Stuart. I decided to use Stuart and Andy as pacers. We’ll ride together, then I’ll stop for a doze, then I’ll catch them up, ride together, then I’ll doze, repeat. Anyone following the trackers at that point would have wondered what was going on. The rain comes back heavy just when we’ve dried out. Three wet riders roll into Ballyheigue control, a volunteer out on the road guiding us in. It is 4:15am or so. Hot shower, a shave, fresh kit, food, sleep. I opt for 3.5 hours sleep.


BALLYHEIGUE – ORANMORE 642-907KM Another day, into County Clare. Away by 9:30am, the gradients now ease compared with the last two days. I’m able to maintain a good rolling average. The GPS bounces off once, twice, the mount effectively broken. I wrap a couple of lengths of electric tape around the middle of the GPS and mount securing it. It also no longer rattles, peace descends. I’m doing mental calculations for the timings for the Tarbet ferry. I think I can make the 11:30am sailing but timings are tight. The route is not direct and eventually I see a Tarbet sign saying 10km with 20 mins to make it in. Head down, hands on drops I spin away in the big ring. A slight downhill. The wind has finally turned and a tailwind is giving me a helping hand. I make the ferry and seconds later the ramp is drawn up and we are underway. I’m breathing heavily, heart beating away. But I’m feeling good. For the most part recovered from my dehydration. My appetite has yet to fully return. David Coupe and another Audax UK rider are on the same sailing.

On the Tarbert Ferry, still raining


Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

A bay, a little before Roundstone

The rain continues to fall as I reach Kilrush Shelter control with David Coupe. Hot curry and rice with tea and fruit juice. Perfect. My appetite is returning. I don’t finish the curry, but I make a good effort. Energy levels are up. Beyond Kilrush we make a turn left and head out to Loop Head Lighthouse. It’s west south west and directly into a strengthening head wind. It’s reminiscent of the fens. It’s brutal. All exposed skin is being sculptured into new forms. Waves race inward, crash and tumble, spray and salt water pervades the air. A wild elemental day. The final long climb up to the lighthouse combined with the headwind and rain makes for painful progress. Once reached a photo as proof passage and then to turn. Before I am clipped in, the wind is urging me along. I gather speed exponentially. I am a superhero cyclist. Bottom of hill and lunch at a nearby pub with fellow riders. A beef and coleslaw sandwich with salad, not on the menu but they’ll make it for me. Washed down with a coke sitting by a patio heater. Stuart and Andy say hello, still heading to the lighthouse. Invited, they do not have time to stop. A glorious big ring spin, hurled by the wind back east then north. I’m that grinning maniacal wild child. No longer fatigued, no longer nauseous, no longer without appetite, no longer without energy. I am renewed, recast. I howl with primitive elemental joy. Beyond the cliffs of Moher. The landscape opens out into limestone pavement to the left and cliffs to the right. The Burren. We are in the last light of the day and a soft orange glow suffuses the rock, brings it to life. I stop in this place, alone. I find a rock overlooking the cliffs and sea, sit there legs dangling down. A moment of quiet, a moment of connection. I listen to whispers on the wind, hearing secrets I can never divulge. I continue, on into the night, good fast roads that rise and fall above the dancing sea. The hills turn to shadow, the sea an inky black, with headlands fading to infinity. Oranmore sleep control arrives around 1am. A volunteer takes my bike for me, thank you. Brevet stamped. Irish stew and tea, chatting with Noel Mohoney. Tracker on charge. A wide eyed child falls once more into the arms of Morpheus. I opt for 3 hours sleep.


ORANMORE – CURRANE BOTHY 907-1,207KM Another day, into County Galway. A breakfast of scrambled eggs and beans and a little toast, washed down with tea and fruit juice. The road leads through Galway and I find myself riding in the early morning traffic. This is rush hour. But, as I experience during the whole ride, this is not UK traffic. Each driver is polite, patient, leaves plenty of space, not beeped once, wide safe overtakes. I am delighted at this unexpected treatment, Irish drivers are a credit to their nation. On a main road but in thinning traffic I escape the gravity of the city; to the left misty views of the islands open out. I stop at a garage and find my new favourite snack. Salty caramel pretzels washed down with Ribena. Opposite is a small park, some benches and sculptures overlooking a rocky bay. I clamber down, sit amongst the rocks and sea weed, shoes and socks removed, waves lapping at my bare feet, gazing out to sea. Soon enough a turn left takes me back onto the narrow empty coastal lanes I’ve become accustomed to. The landscape once more is changing, rocky coves, yellow sea weed, the sky a perfect mirror in the water, a flattening landscape with mountains in the distance. Lakes, bushes, grasses dancing in the wind. The route rises and falls gently as the land breathes in and out, slow and calming. I settle into a zen meditative state, transfixed by the wild and all her caresses. I stop at another cove, rocky with brown yellow sea weed that gently rises and falls on the swell. This time I do not paddle but just sit and watch as silent and still as a boulder. A heron comes into my vision as my eyes adjust to the stillness. Time is at a standstill. Then a sublime moment, one most unexpected. A sea otter, briefly rises amongst the sea weed not 200m away, a ripple easily missed, but no there it is again, the body, the head, and the fur. A brief connection, and then as quickly and silently the gift is gone. On to Cill Chiarain and the campervan control. More tea with chocolate bourbons and custards creams. David Coupe once more turns up. I continue on. The day is brightening,

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX bright sunshine with short heavy showers but for now the sun is winning out. I stop to remove my jacket, then apply cream on my arms. Half an hour later I realise my jacket is no longer on my saddle bag. I turn and cycle back to find it lying at the side of road. I turn again back. A hotel overlooking a deserted bay. My appetite is back with a vengeance after the first couple of day’s issues. I stop and while away an hour having spaghetti carbonara and garlic bread in the sun, washed down with coke and iced water. A few riders pass during this time but I catch them soon enough, revived and fuelled as I am. We ride together for a while, as we near the mountains of Galway the first spots of rain from the edge of a blackness touch my skin. It’s about to envelop us. There will be no escape. It comes in hard and heavy, but it soon blows through, leaving us steaming in the sun. Jacket returns to top of saddle bag, for now at least. A turn left and fine surfaced road, gently rising through trees with a lake to my right. The rain has set Nature’s scents free, and I can feel myself getting stronger as I breathe deep and long. A descent and the sea once more draws close with islands engaging me to the left. Through Roundstone a most perfect fishing village, with a few riders spotted having their lunch. Rocky outcrops, bays, islands to my left, more herons, bird song, a million lakes to my right glinting in the sun, and the mountains of Galway growing ever closer. More perfect moments of solitude, the wild has me in her perfect embrace. Later I meet up with Nick Dale and Pete Turnbull. We roll into Clifden together. I opt for a Chicken and Chorizo melted cheese ciabatta with a coke in a café I spy. Nick and Pete head off to a supermarket instead. I leave before them having found a fast and friendly service. Out onto a headland, once more alone in my thoughts with the wild. More islands with signs to a ferry at Cleggan. A perfectly conical mountain catches my gaze

Riding alongside the fjord to Leenaun

ahead, which manifests as Diamond Hill (I believe) above Letterfrack in Connemara. The sun casts a polarising light across the land. Once more I am mesmerised. The km pass without thought. A lake to my right before a rise then fall to the shores of a fiord. I head to Leenaun, with one eye on the road and one transfixed on the glittering waters to my left. The mountains rise left and right, rocky cliffs and the greenest of slopes, waterfalls tumble down towards me. I’m thunderstruck, has my heart stopped, are my thoughts now a waterfall tumbling over rock, or cliffs soaring to the sky? I am lost and found in this place. Past an outdoor centre, I climb up into a glen. The glen is cast in light and shadow. Alongside a lake I come across a church in the most perfect place. Climbing into the growing dusk. I crest a small rise and enter another landscape, long grasses blowing with solitary mountains rising distant on the horizon. The transition into the landscapes of County Mayo is beginning. Louisburgh I reach at 10:20pm, too late for food but in need a receipt I stop. I enter the Derry Lodge and order some coke and bacon fries. I forget to ask for the receipt. The bar maid writes me a handwritten receipt and adds their stamp to it. Later the manager comes out and offers me sandwiches. I decline this time. Nick Dale and Pete turn up, then Dave Coupe. With a small field a bike outside a place is a sure invitation to come inside. I mention the manager can do sandwiches though we are now 2.5 hours since food stopped being served. Nick cheekily asks if melted cheese can be added. So it is that the four of us share a bountiful assembly of

The glen, castle in light and shadow

toasted ham and cheese sandwiches. I have another coke. The manager gives me a mars bar for free for the night ride ahead. Another act of kindness. Nick and Pete had set off after David, and came into the Lodge before him. They didn’t overtake him and realise they’ve taken a shortcut missing a left turn in the glen. This causes much anguish and they make several calls to Eamon. Mention is made of penalty times or loops. (Eamon was joking, the shortcut was minor, but they didn’t realise.) Nick’s GPS failed in the rain of days 2/3 and he’s been relying on Pete for nav. They’ve had an interesting journey by all accounts. David and I feel Nick is about to kill Pete if left alone with him and his navigation for any longer. We agree to ride together, as a 4 riders (with 2 GPS) for the remainder to Corraun Bothy. David is keen to get more sleep than previous nights and decides he wants to time trial the night section. He’s a demon on the next section on good roads. I take my turns at the front but my God it’s hard to keep the pace. With company and the increased pace I find for the first time I get no dozies this night. At a turn Pete demonstrates first hand his navigational prowess by trying to turn left when the route goes right. After an hour or so we catch Paddy weaving dozy in the road and soon we are five riders together. Paddy awake once more, the night express is in motion. A final turn in Mulranny onto the rougher and darker lanes leading to Curraun Bothy finds me off the lead into a head wind and mist. With a few turns I can no longer see the groups lights behind me and I push on. The headland is eerily quiet in the dark, no buildings or lights. The GPS track ends and no bothy so I ride up and down the track squinting into the mist before the others catch me. We turn right, and a bit further along find the bothy. Just before 3.00am. Brevet card stamped, some soup, bread and tea. A volunteer then takes me to my personal sleeping bag. Sleep comes quickly once more and is to be for 3 hours.

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX Waves crashing below, first part of loop before my mistake, Achill Island


CURRANE BOTHY – BALLINA 1,207-1,503KM We properly enter the landscapes of Co Mayo. Breakfast, a chat with Eamon, then on the road not long after 7.00am. I ride the first downhill section with Pete Turnbull. As we turn south west onto the Achill Island loop we are greeted by a brutal headwind. My first mechanical, at 1221km, is minor. The quick release on the front wheel has come loose, and my tyre is rubbing against the mudguard. I urge Peter on whilst I sort it out. With impeccable timing Eamon and David pull up in the red car just as I am adjusting the wheel in the forks. After ascertaining that help is not required, he smiles and captures the moment on his phone. The headwind continues to buffet me as the road and rises and falls. My eyes are watering, and once or twice I have to hold my hat in fear of it departing on its own. Any cobwebs are stripped from me. Waves crash against the cliffs. I come across a graveyard facing out to the Atlantic, a fine place for your final rest; onwards I go. The ascents are slow, the descents screamingly fast. On one such descent I see Eamon and David rapidly reversing back into a pull in area. They can see I’m committed to the descent, hands on drops, big ring, legs, heart and lungs engaged, as I swooped with joy and energy down those sinuous curves looking for the fastest line, above the cliffs and sea. A climb further on; out of the saddle, legs straining, heart pumping, lungs gasping, wind that pushes me back and forth, the Atlantic crashing all around me. Eamon at the top of the climb with an SLR clicking away. This is the wild in all her glory, she’s got me tight in her embrace, testing me. My God do I feel alive in this moment. I come to a turn and take a left, a garage is a little ahead on the right. As I head north now


Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

with a tailwind I begin to doubt myself, I can see a track heading the opposite way to the south, back to the bothy. What about Keel? I check my brevet card misread Keel as 1354km (it was at 1254km). That surely must be after a return to the bothy? The loop is meant to be 78km or so. Scared I’ll miss the return to the bothy heading north this way I turn round back into the headwind. The ride back to the bothy is slow. Uphill into a brutal south westerly. I crawl along. Paul Whitehead shouts a friendly “How Do?” partially lost in the wind, as he passes with a fellow rider. I meet Andy going the other way and we stop for a chat and photo. I arrive back at the bothy and Eamon’s look of surprise paints a picture. He asks about the campervan / info clue of Keel. I must have ridden the loop fast. Reality slowly and agonisingly dawns on me. After a ride, so far just over the distance of PBP, I’ve messed up. The main thoughts going through my head, are f**k, s**t, you stupid b*****d, how could you mess it up, this far in? My timings had been like clockwork each day up to this point. A familiar pattern had formed, good sleep, leave with around 3 hour’s buffer, then build up some more for the next night. I am furious with myself. I feel like screaming. Eamon brings calm into my turmoil. Go and get something to eat and drink then we’ll drop you back on the route where you made the mistake. I sit and eat amongst the other riders, feeling annoyed, and a fraud right now. I shouldn’t be back here yet. Eamon was right though, I’m just tired. I just made a mistake when fatigued. I shouldn’t be beating myself up, but I am. Bike in car, holding onto wheel to stop it falling out the back. David Finnigan and Eamon drive me back to that turn before the garage. Was it really this far from the bothy? We pass Andy on his Elliptigo and we slow whilst I speak to him “Don’t make the same mistake as me…” We reach the point of error and I’m dropped at the side of the road. I turn left and once more pass the garage. I see Pete Turnbull going the

other way back to the bothy, he asks if everything is alright. Yes I respond, barely masking my annoyance with myself. My fury translates into energy. I hurtle round the loop, pushing and pulling those pedals. Keel appears. I’m so blinded with a mix of fury and fatigue that I spent a good 20 mins cycling up and down searching for the campervan. I even head to one parked in the beach car park. I head uphill beyond Keel till no more houses can be seen before returning. The campervan has gone. I note the Info clue down and continue round the loop. I see Stuart unexpectedly ahead of Andy, as I leave the loop. We great each other in passing. Back past the garage and once more I ride up the hill, into the brutal headwind. I meet Eamon in his van, driving another rider back onto the loop. The rider has made the exact same mistake as me. I wish him well. The bothy is now closing up but I am able to get soup and uncover some bacon to make butties. Paddy, Nick, Dave are still here but otherwise it is all but empty. Their presence does however calm me. Those I arrived with last night are still here, I am not so far behind. They leave before me, as I continue to eat. That mistake cost me 1.5 hours. I thank the volunteers and head out. Initially I’m still furious with myself. I gaze upon the sea below the cliffs and the mountains to my left. I feel the wind on my face and arms. I let my heart slow, I breathe slowly and deliberately. I empty my mind of recent thought and emotion. I take a moment and the wild rushes back within me. She forgives me my fury, and once more lets me back into her embrace. A turn left. I now have a tailwind pushing me north to Bangor. A well surfaced road with gentle gradients. Big ring flying. The landscape opens out, a mix of bog grasslands and forestry with gentle rounded hills on the horizon, Atlantic to my left. In Bangor on a turn, a supermarket with a hot deli. A large slice of meat feast pizza, plus 6 chicken chunks

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX in batter with a chili dip. A Lucozade. Refuelled I make the turn for Dohoma. Once more into the wind. Gweesalia, at the start of a short loop to Dohoma, Meyrick outside a shop. He’s done the loop and is waiting for the others, Nick amongst them. I continue on, without getting something to eat. A mistake, for when I exit this loop the shop will be closed. Dohoma is quiet, though I note there are two pubs, one a little back up the road. Two young lads kick a football about. The leg to Blacksod lighthouse is much further than I think. I regret not stopping at the shops open when I pass. But nothing to be done. In Belmullet, kids are jumping off the bridge into the waters below. Such joy on their faces, their laughter echoes in my mind. I get a few greetings, including a well done keep going shout from Nick as I pass riders in opposite direction, me outbound a strong headwind to Blacksod, they on the return. Small greetings but they lift my day from the trough it had entered at the start. Blacksod is a wild and empty place. The lighthouse, a small beach, a few boats, a row of houses, a pub back up the road. I’ve been riding into a hoolie for a while, but here in the lea of the lighthouse all is calm. I go onto the pebbled beach, remove shoes and socks and let the waves lap over my feet. I absorb Blacksod past and present. There is a poignant connection with the Second World War and I think of the terror of those days, contrasted with this moment. Night layers on. I return with the wind. The sky turns black and not 200m from the lighthouse a storm envelops me. I’m buffeted and whipped by the heavy hail and

soon soaked, but the storm blows onwards within 20 minutes and I am clear of it. Near where the route splits in Belmullet I find an Indian. Sheesh kebab and cokes. I opt for 3 cokes to see me awake for the night section. I turn the phone on briefly and exchange messages with my wife and Idai. I get warm and dry. I’m feeling good with no physical issues and in good mental spirits. As I leave the Indian I meet Stu on his Elliptigo and a couple of riders heading out to Blacksod. Perhaps 2.5 hours behind. I take a photo as we chat. He’s in good spirits as well, and I feel warm knowing he’s doing just fine. Sadly I hear Andy may have had to stop. I pick up a tailwind as I leave civilization behind. I’m wired, the caffeine clearly having the desired effect. As I head out to Ceide the Neothlithic site I catch sight of a rider ahead. All is dark around, the only sound the waves crashing against the cliffs. I put on a spurt of speed, another rider for company would be good after spending most of my day alone after my mistake early on. I can see their PBP gilet in my lights, their taillight shines red. I crest a rise and they evaporate as morning dew in the sun. The blue cycle signs I’d seen either side of them have also faded from my vision. Further on, a lion crosses the narrow lane, illuminated by my lights. It turns to regard me for a moment, before continuing on its way. I come to a junction and need a wee. A car is coming on the other road, so I stop 20 yards short. I look to my left and there in front of me are little people made out of bushes, two girls and a boy. They smile at me, the boy puts a finger to his lips. Stay quiet whilst the car passes. Yet further on, a man

Stuart Blofeld, in good spirits, heading out to Blacksod Lighthouse

with a parachute hanging in a large tree on the left. He smiles at me, with affection in his eyes. Others lurk in the trees and shadows but do not fully resolve themselves in vision to me, though they stroke my senses. I am having hallucinations, for the first time. Something I’ve complained about to others before. At the lack of them! Normally I’ve just get sleepy on these long rides. Others have spoken of monsters and other such. But none of these are monsters. A profound and overwhelming calm settles over me, everything is going to be alright. In this night, with my friends watching over me, guiding me. I move across dimensions and realities with ease. I am the wild of the night, and wild of

Climbing the hairpins on Achill Island

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX the night is I; we are one in perfect synchronicity, physically and mentally conjoined in an imperturbable joyous exultation. My analytical mind observes with amused detachment. As I enter the Neolithic site I come across lights and voices. The lights move and I can make out two voices. I pay them no head. Almost on top of them, I find myself facing David Coupe and Paddy. Another reality bubble forms around me, the wild of the night is carried off, a whisper on the wind. Paddy has been sleeping in a grotto and been found by Dave. They were trying to take a photo of a sign. Paddy white as a ghost, David shivering. Confusion reigns. I try to organise them to split up to find the info clue answer. It won’t take long. We look around a while then settle on the wording on a sign. (The photo timestamp later reveals it was 2:40am.) We ride the remaining km to Ballina in the pre-dawn light. Ballina dreams, light by streetlight, the moonlight glinting on the water. Birdsong modulates my thoughts in the final km to the control. The control a rugby club appears. Card stamped, now 4:45am, a shower, a shave, fresh clothes, and a bite to eat and sleep. An 8:30am wakeup.


BALLINA – LACKENHAUGH 1,503-1,799KM A cooked breakfast and tea and back out on the road just before 9.00am. The roads are fast. I stop at a garage. I get talking to a local and his daughter. He knows Rachel Nolan, and that she is doing this ride, small world. He takes a picture whilst extolling the beauty of County Sligo I’m about to enter. The route continues along quiet narrow hedge lined lanes. In new territory beyond both London Edinburgh London and Paris Brest Paris in distance. Past 1500km and going well. I feel strong, have no physical ailments

and mentally great. The wild, she continues to tease and encourage me. The land opens up once more, Atlantic left, mountains right, the route weaves between them. I stop a while by the Ballysadare River and spy another heron. Further on as it opens out into the sea; I lean the bike against a gate. I clamber down onto the rocky shore line and once more paddle. Then sit in a moment of stillness. Continuing on I join Nick and Paddy as we pass through Sligo and the heaviest traffic by far. Meyrick with a puncture, we wait, then continue together to Rosses Point. We have a bit of fun posing with the statue. Nik pretends he’s dancing with her. He says he can’t reach her breasts. Do you usually have this problem with women? I sit on her trailing skirt, my arms open in imitation. I stay a little longer looking at the view, whilst the others head on. The road continues hugging the coast on quiet lanes, before joining the N15 for a short while. The mountains of Sligo became more rugged as I climb towards them. Cliffs run along the nearest. As I hit the N15 I spy a garage and pull over for lunch. Perfectly laid out, I grab a fresh orange juice and my vision catches sight of a hot deli. An old lady waiting in front. I give her the most almighty surprise. A vase falls and smashes into a thousand pieces. She exclaims “This gentleman gave me one, and that caused me to have another”. It is ripe for innuendo, but not the time. After apologising for the shock, we soon help clean up. A burger and hash browns with my orange juice. As I eat, a fellow rider who’d had to drop out in the first couple of days due to digestion issues, comes in. We sit chatting a while over our food. We discuss how I’d managed my digestion issues in the early days of the ride. We chat a little about London Edinburgh London 2017. I spend longer stopped than intended. Very generously he gets me another orange juice and then insists on paying for everything I’ve had. Another act of kindness. Back on the quiet lanes, my gaze

alternating between the sea and the mountains. A flat topped mountain dominates the view to my right. Fast cycling down the N15 but busy. Out on the Mullagmore loop a helicopter appears, making a rescue on the sea cliffs below. A diversion sees me back on the N15, before I exit onto quieter roads into Bundoran. A take away spicy hot pizza and coke down on the sandy beach. Shoes and socks off, sand between my toes a brief paddle. Pizza finished I continue on towards Donegal. . A small village I stop again for crisps and a Ribena. The owner doesn’t believe I’m cycling the Wild Atlantic Way Audax. He says I look too fresh and those in front like zombies, the cycling dead. A charmer this one. Whatever the truth it makes me smile even more. Back on the N15 I see my first sign for Londonderry, at least another days cycling away. Cycling into Donegal I meet Nick also alone. He isn’t feeling well and we decide to cycle together to Killybegs. He’s thinking of getting a hotel. A slowdown in pace. Heavy rain showers return. A rainbow with a pot of gold? Killybegs, Nick and I say our goodbyes. I park up outside a pub with Fajitas on the menu, which my salivating taste buds say I want. Alas they stopped serving food 30 mins ago. Back outside, warm layers on. About to give up I find a kebab shop open, cycling out of town. Once more Sheesh Kebab with chips and a few cokes and chance to warm before the night section. Next to a rowdy pub. A local warns me to be on my way before it empties at midnight, or my bike will be no more. I take heed. My front shifter had gradually got stiffer and stiffer over the day. Stuck in the big ring. Not a problem on the terrain so far. Out of the saddle lets me deal with the gradients. I’m about to enter the hills of Donegal, a succession of big climbs and descents, one after the other, relentless and brutal. I pass John O’Sullivan , stopped at the side of the road. We ride together a while, but the big cog slows me down. I give the shifter one almighty

Ballina dreams in early morning light


Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX shove, and manage to get the chain onto the middle ring, where it will stay. The rain eases then stops, allowing me to dry out. At the top of a climb John asleep at the side. He’d only intended a quick doze, and we continue on together once more. The roads rise and fall across the Donegal Mountains, remote, dark and beautiful with the distant lights of towns hiding in the valleys shadows below. A few riders are up here, red lights glowing in the distance. Now alone I shift my chain into the spokes as I near the top of the final big climb of the night. The chain breaks, it is 3.00am and pitch black. Head torch on, chain tool out, it is soon fixed. I crest the top. The descent has some sharp hairpins after which it straightens out. After the hairpins I let the bike roll, and soon fly (95km/h the GPS data says). The bike develops a shimmy and doesn’t feel right, so I apply the brakes. The descent is long and I can smell burning. A tyre begins to rub. I can’t tell which with the wind rushing past my ears. I brake to a halt. I’m glad to be running tubeless, with no risk of a blowout from overheated inner tubes. The rim burns to the touch. I loosen the brakes a little and start rolling slowly again to let the air cool them. The rubbing gets worse till the bike grinds to a halt. I check again, couple of drive side spokes bent, tension gone. A patch of grass on the right and I sit down, get my toolkit out once more. A squadron of midges bite me on every exposed bit of skin. I search and search but my spoke key is missing. I definitely packed it. Maybe a sandwich bag wasn’t the best place to keep it? I wonder if a fellow rider might turn up soon, but there is no guarantee. I cycle the eTrex screens. It is 47km to the Lackenhaugh Control. Walking there is out of the question and besides the rubbing on the frame will make that seriously hard work. I get my phone out, turn off airplane mode. The battery is on 7%, I need to make the call count. I ring Eamon and get his answerphone. I’m about to call Seamus when Eamon calls back. He asks what I need. Just a spoke key. He asks if that is all. Yes, if they can get a key to me, I can fix it. We confirm where I am, my tracker more precise if necessary. Waiting for David Finnigan, I decide not to waste this time. I get my emergency silver blanket out and wrap it around myself. I’m rapidly cooling now. After a few tries I get comfortable and warm but the midges are biting away. Long sleeve thermal top over my head keeps them off at last. I fall asleep. A loud souped up boy racer car comes racing down the glen, music blaring out. It wakes me. The driver screeches and skids to a halt, reverses up, and checks I am alright. A reminder not to stereotype people too quickly. I fall asleep once more. An hour later a gentler engine note of a car coming up the glen that pulls to a halt nearby. It’s David. A cold wind blows through me as I unwrap myself from the silver foil blanket. We sit in the car for warmth whilst I fix the wheel. I try fixing it in the frame but it’s awkward. So I remove the wheel. Two spokes are obviously

Having fun at Rosses Point

bent and I bring them up to tension. Pinging the spokes, then one or two that didn’t lose tension, and listening to the sound. I then feel around the spokes and tighten 2 or 3 more. Pinging them also. I put the wheel back in the frame. It’s spot on, nice and true. A 5 minute job that cost me 1.5 hours. We agree I’ll start riding down the glen and David will follow in the car. If all is ok I’ll give him a thumbs up and he can head on back to the control. All is good and off he goes. It is now shortly after 5am, and the dawn is close by. I roll into the control shortly after 7:30am. The control is packed to the brim with riders.


LACKENHAUGH – DERRY (FINISH) 1,799-2,110KM I enjoy a cooked breakfast and a helping of porridge. Catherine Shenk has more than enough porridge and generously offers me some of hers as well. The sleep at the side of the road has refreshed me. I decide to continue without a sleep at the control. I leave with filled rolls and apple pie wrapped in foil. The apple pie pointed out by Eamon. There is a moderate headwind but the day starts fine and dry. About a couple of hours out of the control I sense a burning on the

back of my neck. Probably just a bit of sunburn between my cap and jersey. I apply my P20 then continue on. The burning sensation begins to consume my thoughts. I’m finding it increasing difficult to keep a forward view. It’s sunny, and so I find a piece of grass, lean the bike on a wall and lie down looking at the sky for a while. I figure 30 or so minutes rest will do. Within minutes the owner (of the house whose wall I’m lying by) and two car drivers have stopped to check I am alright. It’s impossible to just have a lie down in Ireland! I move a little up the road and find a place on the right to once more lie down. John, whom I rode with for some of the previous night, stops and asks if I’m alright. I mention the neck issues and he mentions the word Shermer’s. We discuss my predicament, and at one point he says if I’m stopping can I take his knees? I’m not sure I heard him right but I’m keen to continue. Other than the neck everything else is great. We talk about what other riders have done, strapping arrangements, how they hold their head up. A few minutes later we’ve got something rigged up with my spare inner tube zip tied to my saddlebag. I have to straddle the top tube, then pull the inner tube over my forehead. My hat goes in the saddlebag. I tentatively sit on my saddle and start pedalling. I now have to hold the hoods. Even with the support of the inner

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WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX Sligo Mountains near Drumcliffe

tube; on the drops my vision falls down to my front wheel and maybe a few feet in front of it. I catch him up, and he’s pleased to see it working. I cannot describe the joy in being able to continue. It is near impossible to get out of the saddle unless I want become a nodding donkey. I remain seated. I’m unable to reach my water bottles thus set up, and so stop every time I need a drink. The fixed position, and rain showers blowing in and out, begins to lead to moisture build up, rubbing, wrinkled skin, and thus saddle sores. About once an hour I need to stop to apply Aloe Vera Vaseline. I try and drink during these enforced stops. I’m unable to turn my head to look at the view. My view forward perhaps 30 yards in front of my wheel. I start getting off the bike for uphill to give myself a break and have a chance to take in the scenery denied me. After 6 hours making steady but hard progress I’m in need of a doze. I lie down on a grass verge. This is Ireland, every few mins I’m woken by a concerned driver asking if I’m alright. John and another Irish rider pass and ask if I’m alright, yes just trying to catnap. Eventually I find the entrance to a golf club and lie on the grass propped against the sign. Broken chain in the pitch black, Ghleann Gheis


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I am left undisturbed here and manage to grab my 30 mins at last. The strain of the fixed position, and not being able to turn my head is taking its toll. I haven’t taken any photos at all today. I barely know where I am, not being able to focus on landmarks, other than following the pink line on the GPS. I get a sense of Deja Vu, like I’ve already cycled the Wild Atlantic Way, and for some reason I can’t fathom I’m riding it again. My neck is getting weaker and I’m putting a lot of pressure on my hands to now try and keep a forward view. I’ve lowered the seat, which strains my legs, though they and the rest of my body is still in good shape. I’m trying to ride as though on a sit up and beg bike. I’m pushing down with my finger tips on the nearest bit of bar, then changing that to my palms; to try and keep a forward view. I’m sat on the top tube, a leg braced to prevent a shimmy for the descents so I can see further ahead at speed. The rises and falls and twists and turns of the road begin to blur. The villages I pass through I barely register so constrained is my vision. I lose all concept of where I am. I do not see the signs of Creeslough and pass without stopping for a control receipt. An hour later I stop and check my brevet card. I realise I have passed though. A confusion falls upon me. I now think I’m out of time, the last rider on the road. The black tape holding my GPS on hides the average speed display of a screen and I can’t get it to show it in another field. John catches me up, I didn’t realise I’d passed him. I ask him about our overall average speed, and he looks at his GPS and says 14-15 km/h. He confirms we are still in time. I mention I forgot to get a receipt at Creeslough. He says not to worry he saw me go past back there, another rider tells me the same. A fog occupies my head but I take comfort in their words. I walk more uphills to give my neck a break. I’m still keeping pace with John and a couple of

others and we overlap from time to time. That gives me further comfort. I find myself alone again and the Déjà vu returns. I feel I’m going round in circles, though I am not. I take this to be symptom of my increasingly restricted vision. My lack of interaction with the landscape around. My neck drops further in pain, my world shrinking to 20 feet in front of my wheel. I begin to cry, the tears splashing on my GPS then needing to be wiped away. The tears turn into sobs. Before the event Jim Fitzpatrick had talked about when it gets hard, to visualise yourself at the finish. This is my hard moment. As I sob, I visualise myself on the Peace Bridge in Derry. I’m sobbing there as well, bent over my bike. The lyrics from Mad World enter my head “the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had…” My emotions rise and fall carried on the Atlantic waves I can hear but not see. I continue forward but the neck is getting worse and the inner tube strapping is ceasing to give enough support. The saddle sores are getting worse and Vaseline needs applying more regularly. My hands and wrists are hurting from the effort to keep some forward vision. The tears come and go, I have no control over when or where. Terry another Irish rider catches me up when my emotions are somewhere in the middle. He asks if he can help in any way. We stop and he provides me with a fresh roll and some ham that he’s just bought. In my confused state I’m forgetting to eat. He takes pictures of my setup whilst I eat and promises to send them privately not publish on FB. I thank him and he carries on, as I drink some water. I have no more tears left to give, and my emotions settle. I roll into Letterkenny, at 8:45pm on Thursday 23rd June. The inner tube is no longer working that well. My vision is restricted and on the busy roads of Letterkenny, with rain falling again, I walk the last bit and find a pizza place I can eat in. I order a large hot and spicy

WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX meat feast pizza and a couple of cokes. I ring Eamon and we discuss the neck issues. He tells me not to worry I’ve got plenty of time to finish. I explain where in Letterkenny I am and he says he’ll come out with David with a helmet and sort out some strapping so I can keep going. I text my wife where I am and mention the neck issues. She rings, just after 9:30pm, and we talk whilst I eat the hot pizza. I finish the pizza, and explain to the guy behind the counter I’m waiting for a couple of friends to help sort me out with a problem. I order another coke whilst I wait. About 10:30pm Eamon and David come in. A helmet, rope, and industrial strength zip ties. They practice the setup on Eamon before I stand up ready to be strapped up. I’ve put on my warm gear ready for the night. The helmet is being scraped against my forehead, and needs adjusting a couple of times before the fit is good. Zip ties are put in the front of the helmet, I think Eamon is trying to embed them in my forehead, to better hold the helmet and my head in place. David pulls the strapping at the back and my head is pulled backwards and up. My phone battery is now dead. David takes my phone. They’ll get it charged and come find me later via my tracker. It’s the most surreal moment of the whole ride despite the hallucinations and Déjà vu experienced before. God knows what the pizza guy thought was going on? I’m smiling again, amused at the setup, happy that I have a chance to finish the ride. Water bottles

refilled. Outside David films me putting my bike lock in and then doing up my saddlebag. As he films he comes round the front, and asks how I am. You can but laugh, trussed up like a mummy and moving like Frankenstein. I come out with something like “I am the mummy, and I am coming to Malin Head, then Derry”. Lights and GPS switched on and I roll off into the wet night. It is now just after 11:00pm on the Thursday. That leaves 166km left and 14 hours to complete it in. My mental faculties are back after the break and large pizza. I’m feeling positive. Soon enough I’m out of Letterkenny and rolling down the N14. It’s a busy main road but it has a wide shoulder clear of debris. The rain continues to fall. Further down the road, Eamon and David catch up with me, surprised at my progress and hand my phone back with 60% charge. Progress is swift as the surface is good, the gradients slightly uphill, flat or down, and I have forward vision back. It is now easy to keep my speed up. I take a left and join the N13 which carries traffic to Londonderry. In the night, rain falling. The glow of the GPS and the white lines passing before my eyes has a soporific effect. I’m too hot in my night gear, the night much warmer than previous, but I can’t change due to the strapping. I slow down to stop myself overheating. I can’t reach down and retrieve my water bottles safely with the strapping. I stop every 10 mins or so to take on some water.

Despite the strapping my neck eventually begins to drop further, the pain increasing. I have a near miss on a downhill, as the shoulder disappears where a junction comes on. I swerve just missing the barrier at speed. My heart rate soars as the adrenaline pumps through me. I continue on, stopping to drink water, eventually leaving at the exit for Burnsfoot. At the bottom of the exit ramp. I make a right turn and almost ride off the edge of the road. I convince myself it’s just tiredness not my vision. Maybe a catnap will sharpen my reflexes. I look for places to kip at the side of the road but it’s just fields waterlogged with rain. I try my trick from day one, dozing on the bike, arms on bars. But as I fall asleep properly my left leg gives way and I wake falling to the left and only just catching myself. I catch one shin on the chainrings the other on the crank, ouch. Continuing on I enter Burnsfoot industrial estate and find a curved wall that casts a dark shadow from the factory lights behind. I place myself and bike in the curve of the shadow, hidden from the view of passing cars. I wrap myself in my foil blanket, sheltered from the rain, and sleep for 20 minutes. I set off again but the neck seems worse. A few hundred metres up the road I attempt to turn at a junction and crash up a pavement, narrowly avoiding a wall. I swerve back out across the road before coming to a halt on the opposite side breathing heavily, heart pumping away. I didn’t see it in the dark and

The inner tube arrangement holding my head up Photo: © Terry Rea (Later, after the event, he emails me the photos and tells me he was running at 1% at that time. Seeing me struggling on, and being able to help me, lifted him and allowed him to keep going. I didn’t feel I was inspiring anyone at that time but his kind words give me a warm glow)

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WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX rain with my vision now being a few feet in front of my wheel. It’s now 12:30am. How I stayed upright I’m not quite sure. It wasn’t tiredness this time, it was my restricted vision. I can’t continue like this, it’s not safe. I ring Eamon explain the strapping is no longer working. I mention my near misses. I explain where I am. Once more the silver foil comes out and I sit against the wall and wait. A car stops. Am I alright. I answer yes from inside the foil, keeping me warm against the falling rain and cooling night. Eamon turns up. He remarks that my neck is at a much sharper angle than Letterkenny. He attempts to tighten the strapping but all it does is cause me to call out in pain, and doesn’t help with the forward vision or my neck. Accounts have come out, of riders thinking of stopping. One call to Eamon and the answer would be a flat refusal to accept their withdrawal, keep riding was his strong message throughout. There were many heroic efforts in this regard, some riders getting to the end a day or more after the official time limit. There are no such messages or words at this time. We both know my ride is at an end, despite the generous time left. Eamon quietly says he knows that it would have to be something like this to stop me. I should be proud of what I’ve managed. Not many can cycle 2000km. He is trying to make me feel good about stopping. We both know it isn’t safe to continue, and long term damage to the neck isn’t worth risking. A serious crash seems likely in my condition. I stand at the side of road, my ride ended. There are no tears as earlier, no regret, just calm acceptance that I’ve done what I can. There is no more. The same is true of Eamon and the volunteers in their assistance. I am content. At this point Birgit Zimmerman comes round the corner and we cheer her on as she passes. She is riding just fine and will complete the ride in time. I am pleased for

“Elliptigo rider Stuart finished the last 300km on a carbon road bike. He was four minutes inside the time limit – what a heroic effort!” her, as I am for all riders both finished and still going. These long rides bind us, we will everyone to succeed. We load the bike into the car. I climb in, and hold onto one wheel to stop it falling out the back. The hatch could not be shut. We try to operate Seamus’ car satnav to get us to the Peace Bridge in Derry. Despite navigating the length of Ireland using my bike GPS; the car touch screen one defeats me. Much to Eamon’s amusement. This causes some good hearted banter (once a call to Seamus has sorted us out). Back in Derry I await transport to the Iona Inn where Tonya’s hospitality awaits us. At the Inn I am finally cut free from the zip ties, rope and helmet. A bit of food, a beer, sat with Seamus, Paul and a few of the other riders; shower, then bed sometime after 3am. I sleep the sleep of the dead not waking till after 11am. Clean casual clothes but my fingers struggle with the buttons on my shorts. The battered fingers of an old man from trying to keep my head up on the bike. Some more food, cakes and tea. I ask for directions and then walk from the Iona Inn to the Peace Bridge. I am in casual shorts, t-shirt and footwear. It begins to rain. I don’t care and carry on walking. My jacket is too smelly to wear now I have fresh clothes. I meet Stuart at the finish and we sit down for a coffee. Not a drink I normally have but I welcome it. His trophy with an Elliptigo rider inside is magnificent. He finished the last 300km on a carbon road bike provided like magic by a lbike shop with his Elliptigo as insurance. He was four minutes inside the time limit – what a heroic effort. I wander on to the Peace Bridge to see

The Mummy walks, with Dr Eamon, Pizza place, Letterkenny Photo: © David Finnigan

other riders finishing. Bloody well done. Eamon, seeing me, grabs a WAWA trophy and presents it to me with a speech. He explains the trophy was for any rider who’d managed to get past 1000km, but to have got past 2000km was doubly special. I should be proud of what I’d managed, and but for the neck he knows I would have finished in good style. George Hanna offers me more kind words. It’s a nice moment. The trophy is bubble wrapped and my old man fingers struggle to release it as I return to the Iona Inn with David and Stuart. I’m sharing a room with Stuart and so take him to the room so he can shower, then sleep as I have done. Phone on charge. I go down stairs to catch up with those about. More food and chat. Friday evening we go next door to the pub for Guinness. Stuart organises pizza and garlic bread from across the road. A gathering of riders and volunteers, the stories beginning to unfold. A ride with as many stories and challenges as riders and volunteers. Late, after a few Guinness are in me, Paul Sexton comes in having just finished, long out of time. We fall silent as he’s presented with his trophy. Paul begins hesitantly as first, but his voice grows stronger filled with raw emotion. The pub falls silent transfixed as he finds his voice. His embrace of the wild pours out, raw and elemental. Everything from what drove him to enter the wild, his mother, what he’s experienced, the meaning of it all. It’s a beautiful speech from the heart. Early next morning Stuart and I head to the railway station for our first leg to Belfast on the way home. John Sabine comes in at this time, having finished out of time, but finished. Well done John. He asks when I finished, I tell him I didn’t, the neck. Oh no, more words of kindness, then we need to leave John and catch our train. One nagging doubt. Could I have taken a 3-4 hour rest the night before, then finished the ride in the remaining hours? It was a 7km ride across Dublin to the ferry from Connolly station. Within a km my head drops and forward vision became restricted. The doubt is answered, no not even after 36 hours is it truly safe. Brief glances, and a fortunately empty bus lane and quiet roads get me to the ferry terminal.


The inaugural edition of the Wild Atlantic Way Audax was held between June 17-24th 2016. Distance 2100km, ascent 24,000m, and time limit 175 hours. The climbing is mostly concentrated into days 1-2 (~8,000m), days 3-5 you get respite though it’s not flat, then the big hills return again on days 6-7 (~7,000m). Weather was a mixed affair. First day glorious sunshine. Days 2-3 settled into all day rain with 16 hours of cycling in the rain on day 3. Days 4-7 were a mix of sunshine and rain to varying degrees. Northerly headwind first


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WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX couple of days, then mostly a southerly or south westerly tailwind blew. The headlands and the loops meant that you had headwinds, tailwinds, and side winds at some point on most days. You faced all points of the compass during a day. You’ll pass through some remote terrain at quite late hours (unless you’re one of those whippets) so don’t skimp on the warm layers. In total I cycled 2016km (Garmin Connect claims 2020km but I think that’s on the high side) in 163 hours elapsed. It was 1974km on the route that I stopped, in Burnsfoot. A distance of 137km and just under 12 hours remained, Malin Head then Derry. The extra distance comes from needing to go back for my jacket that’d fallen off my saddle bag on day 3 and messing up the Achill Island loop out of Curraun Bothy in my fatigued state on day 5. My bike was a VN Yukon, Titanium with 28mm tubeless tyres at 70 psi, Son Dynamo, B&M Luxos U light, Secula rear dynamo light, 2 red Fibre Flares one on each seat stay. Mudguards with long flaps. Saddle bag, Bridge Street medium (9 litres). Alpkit Stem cell on handlebars for snacking on the go. Two water bottles. Etrex 20 for navigation, initially running off Luxos USB, and then AA bought at garages along the way. Double wrapped bar tape. Perfect for floating on imperfect roads. It was too comfortable for my hands in the drops, where I spent most of my time, I also wore a hat keeping sun and rain out of my eyes. This almost certainly contributed to Shermer’s neck after 1800km. But from the accounts I’ve read it appears it can strike any time on a long ride. Toolkit. Zip ties, electrical tape, chain tool, 2-8mm Allen keys and Phillips head screw driver on small multi tool (kept in jersey pocket), tubeless external repair kit (no need to remove tyre), pump, one 28-32mm emergency inner tube (used for neck), couple of plastic tyre levers. Spare bolts screwed into the unused rack mountings on the bike. Small silver spoke key that I lost somewhere during the first 5 days. New chain and tyres fitted a couple of weeks before event. Clothing. Bib shorts, summer SS jerseys, and fingerless gloves. A winter weight (260) merino wool long sleeve top, Rab Vapour Rise Lite jacket, Castelli Nanoflex leg warmers, neoprene gloves. Kept me warm through the night and the worst of the wind and rain. I had summer SPD shoes and lightweight cycling socks that dried quickly. I didn’t get hot foot at all. An emergency silver blanket kept me warm when necessary, never totally comfortable but sufficient. A silk liner carried for extra warmth but not used. Complete change of the base bib shorts, jersey, socks and fingerless gloves at 600km and 1500km bag drops. Disposable razors and gel at each bag drop to freshen up. Two old towels, subsequently left. Physically and mentally I was doing great till the neck took its toll. The neck led to pressure on the hands and saddle sores as I was fixed in one position in the rain. My hands were great up to the point where I began pushing up on them to gain forward vision,

This one’s a keeper – the WAWA trophy

around 1850km. Feet, legs, back, arms, lungs and heart were all good and willing to the end, even with the lowered saddle. Sleep. Apart from the first night where I had 5 hours, I was getting 3 hours of sleep a night. This left me 3 hours ahead of the time limit when leaving a sleep control each day. It was a comfortable margin for me, as I’d build up more buffer for sleeping each day. I got the dozies from around midnight first couple of nights. Lack of decent sleep leading up to the event. I went slowly the first couple of nights due to dehydration and not having appetite back. Plus it was hilly! Caffeine (via 3 cans of coke) before a night stage, riding faster and / or with company worked after that. Company. Despite the small field there were always other riders to ride with throughout the event. I think the distance between sleep controls helped to regroup us to a certain extent each day. We each rode in our own bubble, overlapping with familiar faces from time to time. I didn’t once look at the tracking, so had no idea who was ahead or behind other than those I saw. You need to ride your own pace, but that will happily coincide or overlap with others during the event. You will struggle if you’re not happy

alone in your own company or riding at night in remote terrain. Have you been inspired to think of stepping up for the embrace of the wild? The second edition, “WAWA the Home Coming”, is slated to be happening in 2020, the year after PBP. If Eamon, Audax Ireland, and all the volunteers give you half as warm a welcome as we had, and half as good a route, you are in for a really special treat. Start your preparations now. For now I rest, to give the neck the proper respect and recovery it deserves. I am content, perhaps for the first time, about a DNF. It is really the experiences and challenges we face along the way that shape us, remould us, rather than reaching the destination in time. We do not undertake these events because they are easy. The outcome certain. We must accept all that befalls us, capture and hold it, with no anger sadness or regret. We cannot conquer the wild. The wild conquers us. Accept that week long embrace and a little bit of the wild will forever be in your heart. Thanks to Eamon, Seamus, Audax Ireland,, Failte Ireland, GMIT, the volunteers and all fellow riders. We shared something special didn’t we?

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Riders tackle Spring Hill on the Blowingstone – White Horse 100 Photography by John Talbot & team

EVENT Blowingstone – White Horse DATE 8th May 2016 DISTANCE 107km LOCATION Uffington, nr Wantage ORGANISER Nick Dunton, Oxfordshire CTC


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On Blowingstone Hill, near Kingston Lisle Photography by John Talbot & team


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Myhouse to Limehouse DIY and beyond… Words & photography by John Oakshott


all me a yokel, but I enjoy riding in London. There is a fascinating transition from the peaceful, almost traffic-free lanes of a Suffolk 7 o’clock Friday morning in May to a packed lunchtime Tower Gateway then on to the calm suburbia of Kingston. While the London traffic moves fast in places, there now seem to be few spots where riding is chancing your arm, and for me, these are mainly at the collecting and dispersal points around the Thames bridges. Dedicated cycle routes avoid other difficulties like the Elephant and Castle. I might feel differently if I had a daily commute in the capital, but then that’s about work. I’ve learned that my 25kph average drops sharply with the stop-start of London, so I entered a diy from home to Limehouse Basin, planning to test the traffic before crossing the river. Total mileage would be 140-odd k, so brevet speed for the first 100, ambling for the last 40 or so, on what I think is an ‘advisory route’, with start point at home, Waltham Abbey the intermediate point and finishing at Limehouse Basin: 103k walking, 110k on the bike, taking in, say 1k for wrong turns, cafe


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stops, sightseeing and so on. West Suffolk was just getting out of bed; Essex through Finchingfield and Dunmow, heading for school; and Takely to Harlow the ‘late for work’ rush. Harlow in May is an interesting ride. The town’s veins are leafy bike and pedestrian lanes, with long stretches through quiet wooded margins with only occasional glimpses of the housing estates which are the town’s identity. I like the Lea valley cycle route as well, but this time chose to take the B1133 from Parndon to Waltham Abbey, with the choice of hopping over to the Lea Valley cycle route at Broxbourne if the drivers got a bit enthusiastic. The road rises and dips along the valley’s Essex side with views across the river lacework towards Hatfield and Potter’s Bar. As the traffic hotted up towards Waltham I took Fisher’s Green Lane down to the Lea country park which looked beautiful in the May sunshine. I saw the second cuckoo in my life, flying fast upriver, but there were no calls – something I’ve come to miss in recent years on the bike. On to the canal path beside what Gmaps calls the Lee Navigation, always captivating

with its scruffy narrow boats, bone-shaking steep lockside paths and gradual opening of the London skyline. There are some good cafes just off the path and it merits a good explore, particularly near the Thames, but I turned off to Victoria Park the Herts Union and Regents canals, and on to Limehouse. A team-sweatshirted bloke with a strong American accent stopped me to ask if I’d like to be talked to about canals. I’d warmed up at last, and wasn’t going to stop to find out what I probably already knew. I still had a last few ks to complete the 100. Limehouse has lost its heart; the basin is sterile with lifeless yachts, echoing, empty streets, blank-faced apartment buildings, and not a pair of mobile deckshoes in sight: all set to go downhill before the next makeover. I picked up the ‘Tower Gateway’ superhighway in one of the city’s several Horseferry Roads round the corner from the basin, then Cable St to Royal Mint Court with a scramble across to Tower Bridge Approach. The Superhighways get more praise than criticism and look fetching in ‘Sky Blue RAL 5015’ blue, but I found that traffic entering


Taking a break in Richmond Park

Cable St from the side doesn’t stop at the stoplines before the cycle lane. It lurches out from between the buildings straight across the cyclists to stop at the roadside. There were some near misses and great amusement for some of the drivers. Tower Bridge was crowded and I rode on to Tanner St before turning right to let the congestion clear. By this time I’m usually on either NCR 4 or the Thames Path, but I thought I’d make it straight to the back of Waterloo before picking up route 4. This was all new to me, and I stopped for a lunch break in Leathermarket Garden to work up some sympathy for the oppressed hundreds on the grass in the sunshine forking down the contents of takeaway boxes. On to cross the river at Lambeth into Westminster, John Islip St-John was abbot of Westminster in the early 1500s, he’d be pleased that he’s now NC route 4 – into Pimlico at Friday late liquid lunchtime. Most of the offices seem to displace to the pub and set to work with vigour. The area is remarkable for S Class Mercs, driven by olive 30 year-olds and blocking the tiny streets with 7 point turns. On to Chelsea Harbour which has quickly gained a dodgy money tarnish, and back south again at Putney Bridge, where the right turn towards Richmond is Russian roulette. Up through Putney and Roehampton, past the Rosslyn Park that I saw pushed to a 32-14 defeat by Saints at Franklins Gardens in the 1958-9 season. Then through quiet leafy streets where the transport of young mums’ choice is the Volvo XC90 – made for this demanding terrain – in black. Past an obedient file of junior boys kitted out in full immaculate whites for a session in the nets - not state school, then and into Richmond Park at East Sheen Gate. I picked up the 2012 road race route up Sawyers Hill to Cancellara corner - Richmond Gate where Fabio chose to visit the tarmac on the reflex corner rather than contest the finish, and ambled along the ridge with stunning views across the river towards Guildford. A final descent to Acre Road got me to the Marina Tearoom for a 3.30 nice cup of tea. I reckon there are three moments in the whole route that needed a bit of care: each at the south end of a Thames bridge. There are more than that in the home Tesco run. The rest of the time I’m in, and not of, the world around; observer rather than participant. It all goes by in a series of snapshots, beautiful, startling, odd. Can there be anything better than this, other than for a Friday afternoon Pimlico office worker?

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A ride in Southern Scotland Words & photography by Paul Harrison


unday 6th March, and my friends have invited me to a ceremony at Samye Ling Monastery, Eskdalemuir. This is an attractive proposition, however it poses a dilemma as Sundays are strictly set aside for cycling . It is further complicated by a good weather forecast which is rare in Dumfries & Galloway. I finally decide I can fit in some riding and still get to the monastery for the 2.00 p.m. start. The climatological records shows Eskdalemuir to be a very wet, often cloudy place. It holds the UK weather record for the


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highest rainfall in a 30 minute period and also holds the record for the dullest summer month. (Thanks for this information, Wikipedia – it confirms my previous experiences in this area!) The climate is offset by the splendid scenery, so I grab the chance to sample it under good conditions and leave home with the bike in the back of the car at the crack of dawn. Actually, it’s 8.30 a.m. which is the best I could manage. Though the narrow, winding roads in southern Scotland are wonderful on the bike, they can be tedious in the car. I cast envious glances at cyclists I see en route, but

am finally in the saddle myself just before 10.00 a.m. Heading north on the B709 towards Tushielaw, there’s a cold stiff breeze in my face, contrasting with the warm sun on my back. Anyone who has never ridden north of Carlisle would find it hard to imagine how remote this area is. I’ve done 14 miles and have seen only two cars and three cyclists. Two of the cyclists were going my way: it would be immodest for me to say who overtook who. I see ice ahead and cogitate on the possibility of lying helpless and freezing in

SCOTTISH BORDERS DIY the event of a tumble, wondering how long would it be before I’d be discovered . As the ice approaches, I can tell it’s just a narrow strip and judge that I could whizz across it to safe dry tarmac before any trouble starts. Luckily, I’m right. The first pass is Cross Hill, 334m and on the boundary between the regions of Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. It is not very high, but is tough into the headwind as the climb steepens towards the top. I’m looking forward to being blown back later on. I can see high rounded hills, snow-capped and gleaming in the early spring sunshine. A nice long gentle descent soon finds me in Tushielaw. Unfortunately the inn is now closed. As I dream of previous happy pints I’ve enjoyed there, I realise I’ve just missed the right turn to Hawick. A bit silly really as road junctions are rare in places like this. I do a U-turn and then head east on the B711. Despite the change of direction, I’ve still got to battle that pesky breeze. The contours can alter the direction of air flows and I suppose a cyclist with local knowledge could devise a circuit with the wind behind all the way; he’d certainly be going the opposite way to me. I’m wondering if I’ll make the next pass before having to retrace to Eskdalemuir. The road gently climbs up the steep-sided valley of the Rankle Burn and then that of its tributary, Clear Burn, to emerge on Hurkle

Rigg, a false summit at 308m. False summits can be a bit dispiriting, especially in a headwind and with time running out. After a short descent, I’m climbing again and pass the enticingly named Alemoor reservoir (thinking of Tushielaw again). True to form, there are now banks of cloud in front of the sun and the water is titanium grey and uninviting as I cross the bridge over a narrow part of the reservoir. Finally, I make Firestane Edge (331m). Despite its grand -sounding name, this pass is not a very magnificent spot*, nonetheless it’s worth a visit for the approach roads and surrounding countryside. I’m tempted to turn round here: “ The descent may retrace the ascent” – so say the OCD rules and I’ve achieved my objective. But I notice I’ve done about 24 miles. Hmm, if I go a bit further, I’ll get 50 miles round trip in – it sounds so much better than 48. So, I foolishly do the steep descent to Roberton. That extra mile and a bit seems never-ending as I cannot help thinking about the climb back I’ll have to do shortly. At least I’ll have the wind behind… I turn round at Roberton, charming little hamlet, and hit the not-so-charming little hill. I grovel to the top, reminding myself it’s only a mile. I’m aware that I still seem to have no help from the wind: how did that happen? I console myself with the thought that it’s all downhill to Tushielaw, once over the hurdle of Hurkle Rigg . Tushielaw arrives and I have

a quick sandwich in the brittle sunshine which has reappeared. Now for the tailwind! Unbelievably, it’s against me for the first few hundred yards, leaving me glancing nervously at my watch. Then I round a bend and start flying – those tricky contours are at last acting in my favour. I’m doing 15 miles an hour (well, at least on the easier bits) which must prove the strength of the wind, as I’m now feeling slightly knackered. Back in Samye Ling carpark, and on time, I’m divesting my cycling gear in favour of something more suitable for the occasion. I’m congratulating myself on having maintained a skill from my long-gone time-trialling days: that of being able to get changed in odd places. A pity I haven’t retained the skill of riding at 25 miles an hour. Then I realise I’ve forgotten to pack my trousers. I envisage the embarrassment of appearing in the monastery with bright “World Champ” ribbing on the ankle cuffs of my tracksuit bottoms. I needn’t have worried - they are totally eclipsed by the light of a thousand candles. *Mid-June, and I’ve just done Firestane Edge again as part of a longer ride. This was a fine day of sun, wind and cloud and I must record that the views from the Edge were excellent, down Teviot Dale and across Ettrick Forest to the distant Lammermuir Hills. And this time, there were equal shares of headwind and tail-wind on the circuit.

Paul Harrison rides through the Borders

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LEJOG – The Ups and Downs of a Solo Ride Across Britain Land’s End to John O’Groats on an ElliptiGO bike by Idai Makaya


y big cycling project for this year was to ride across Britain – solo – from Land’s End to John O’Groats (affectionately referred to as “LEJOG”) on my ElliptiGO bike. I was hoping to step things up this year by riding completely self-sufficiently. So I had prepared myself for this by doing largely (but not exclusively) solo DIY Audax rides - starting with a 200km ride at the Poor Student Audax in January 2016, a 300km solo DIY in February, a 400km solo DIY in March, then another DIY 200km in April – another DIY 400km in May, and finally a DIY 200km tandem ride with my friend Steve, also in May. I did a lot of strength and endurance work in my training – but no speed work at all


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– which was a first for me in long-distance cycling training. I also did most of my training on an indoor trainer, in the house, because my wife was going back to university and I would need to be on childcare duty three evenings a week. But every Sunday morning I would do a real ride on the road, for about 4 hours’ duration at moderate to high intensity. My indoor sessions were done at really low intensity (heart rate zone 1 - for those who understand heart rate monitoring) so most of my fitness actually came from the harder 4 hour ride on the road. The kit I took for the ride was pretty sparse: two T-shirts, a long sleeved base layer, short leggings, long leggings, two sets of underpants, a handkerchief (I’m not sure

why?), an old fashioned bedside alarm clock (I know exactly why!), and a lightweight bivvy sleeping bag (which folds to the size of a flask but is genuinely weatherproof ). I had also mailed a box to the B & B in John O’Groats where I had planned to stay after the ride, so that I could have some fresh normal clothing, my computer to upload my data and results – and some toiletries. I took two identical Garmin Etrex GPS devices (one borrowed from my friend Stu) – because I had needed one for back-up recording, as it was a DIY by GPS ride and I did not want to risk finishing with corrupted data. I also had a Spot tracking device, to provide live satellite tracking throughout the ride. The live tracking was to allow friends and acquaintances to follow the trip as it had unfolded, but also because I was not only doing it as an Audax ride, it was also being verified by Guinness World Records (against the current record of 6 days and 10 hours for riding across Britain on an elliptical cycle) and Guinness require live tracking for such record attempts. On ride day – 26 May 2016 – I awoke feeling quite nervous! My trip to Land’s End started around 10am (after dropping the children at school – and bidding my wife Ivy good luck in a Maths exam she was writing that same day). My trip was quite a long one and I had found it difficult to eat anything along the way (nervousness)! Much of the car journey went along the same route I would be riding, so I had used the drive to the starting point as an opportunity to plan ahead for the ride. I was a little apprehensive of the dual carriageways and motorway-like conditions I would be riding in, as well as the amount of undulation in the route (especially as I had entered Devon and Cornwall). I had stopped for a coffee at a service station along the M4 motorway and also bought some new Ironman brand sunglasses there, to replace my previous sunglasses (which were lost during my 215km DIY tandem Audax ride with Steve, two weeks before). That purchase of the sunglasses had left me feeling completely ready for the journey ahead. I had reached Penzance, where the car hire people were kind enough to allow me to drive on to Land’s end (some 20-miles away) so that I could start on time. They’d then collected their hired van from there later in the day, after we’d arranged for me to leave it in the Land’s End Hotel parking lot. Arriving in Land’s End I was impressed with the beauty and tranquillity of the place. The

LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS DIY scenery was breath-taking and I had used the pleasant settings to relax my mind prior to the trip. I had set up my GPS routing equipment and had finally set off on my ride at 18:15hrs – after signing the guest book and my log books at the hotel (for verification purposes). I was working with three different types of verification process for this ride – Audax UK, Guinness World Records, and the End to End Association (which promotes rides across Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats). As soon as the riding had commenced I had felt calm. I had begun to think through various thoughts and had started to look forward to the journey ahead. The first thing I had noticed was a light opposing headwind, which was slowing my progress more than one might have expected (because of the low power output I was using on a ride of this distance). I was averaging 18kph in the first 3 hours and it had started raining after about an hour of riding. At 21:00 I had stopped for a full English all-day ‘breakfast’ at a truck stop in Redruth, about 50km into the ride. The first day of my journey went smoothly – and saw me riding all through the night. I went on to 153km in the first 10 hours and 45 minutes. It was a very hilly course, and there was a weak prevailing headwind on my entire journey, but I can’t help but feel that I was paying for the lack of speed work in the previous six months’ training. I admit not doing speed work made the training pass by quite pleasantly, but I will certainly never again train for a big ride without doing comprehensive speed work in future. That’s a luxury which riders of faster bikes can easily get away with, but on a slow bike you must optimise your speed (by working on it, specifically, in training). I had met my friend (and fellow Audax rider) Ian briefly, just outside Exeter, which was a real motivator for me on that first morning – and I had also met fellow Audax rider Richard (and his grandson), on the outskirts of Cullompton. I covered the first 325km in 23 hours and 15 minutes – and then crossed the Severn Bridge at about 19:15 on 27 May 2016 – a full 25 hours after I had started the ride. On the Severn Bridge I had met my friend Tim, who was just a few days away from his own big ride (a 5,000-mile ElliptiGO Bike tour around the Eastern USA)! Tim rode well into the night with me, before turning back and riding all the way back to the Severn Bridge (to get his car and drive home). After parting with Tim I had ridden into Hereford where I had tried to take my first sleep break, using my Outdoor Adventure Bivvy pack. I was at a well shielded church, which had a motionsensing light (ideal for me to sort myself out with good lighting and then lie down in total darkness). It was midnight by then – and I had been awake for over 36 hours at this stage (since getting up on Thursday morning). But I wasn’t ready to sleep, strangely – and after 15 minutes of trying I had packed up and got back on the bike. From there I rode through

the night to a town called Ludlow, where I had found myself feeling really drowsy. I could not find a suitable sleeping place there, so I had just stopped for a snack, hoping that would make me feel more alert for a while. As I had sat on the pavement in the high street, after finishing my meal, I had thought I would just sit down for a minute more before getting back on the bike – but I had then fallen asleep almost instantaneously, right on the pavement in the high street! The place was deserted – unlike Hereford (which was extremely busy with ‘night-life’). But I had been awakened after half an hour of sleep by a car that passed by playing very loud music. Luckily, not too much time had been lost (and I had become a bit more alert after the little nap, enabling me to ride to the outskirts of town – where I had found the main A49 trunk road heading to Shrewsbury). At the main intersection joining the A49 from Ludlow, where I was to turn left towards Shrewsbury, I had spotted an enormous bus shelter (it was at least as large as a big garden shed)! I instantly knew this was an ideal sleep spot (and although at the junction of a main road, at that time of the night it was totally deserted – and there was no traffic on the roads to disturb me). I’d set up camp there and set my alarm clock for 45 minutes’ sleep. I took a few minutes to fall asleep, but when I did so it was a very deep sleep. I was awoken by the alarm – which was extremely loud – and had headed towards Shrewsbury, feeling really fresh and ‘alive’. I had enjoyed that part of the ride quite a bit – and was feeling strong and quick. There were some big hills there, but the route had meandered between them (and, although surrounded by the hills, there was not much real climbing in that section at all – if anything, there was a net descent). In Shrewsbury I’d found a Starbucks Coffee shop with a really good/clean toilet, where I’d gone to freshen up. I had discovered at that point that my toothpaste was rock solid, so could not brush my teeth – and I had removed my underpants because they were causing a lot of abrasion between my thighs (the fat under the skin had already been exposed by this point) and there was also abrasion around my backside area (with sores as bad as one would expect if sitting on a conventional bike saddle)! Note to self – make sure you use fabric softener on clothing before a big ride, it’s important! So, instead of wearing underpants (I had spare underpants packed), I had used my short cycling leggings from then on – which

Crossing the Severn Bridge

were much more comfortable and did not exacerbate the sores I already had. There had been rain, on and off, for almost the entire first two days of riding – but from this point at Shrewsbury it was pretty much a dry run. I had ridden strongly through the day, after a big latte and some caramel waffles at Starbucks (one of my favourite junk food treat combinations – I might add). My diet throughout the trip was made up largely of sandwiches and assorted food wraps, bought at the shops and petrol stations I had stopped at on the route (and also the occasional large cafe meal, maybe 2-3 times a day). But I would only have those sandwiches and wraps at 3-4 hour intervals. At hourly intervals, I would snack on full chocolate bars, which I could eat whilst on the bike – without stopping. The afternoon had been very hot on that second day of riding – and the stretch along the A6 route through Wigan and the surrounding towns had been extremely urban. I had ridden through many very busy town centres (it was now Saturday!) until I finally reached Preston, where my friend Andy had met me (just as I had reached town centre). I’d covered 612km in 46 hours, to reach Preston in the late afternoon. Meeting Andy was the highlight of the day – and I had felt really relaxed when he was there riding with me. He navigated me through Preston town and onto the A6 again, headed towards Lancaster. Along that fast stretch of the A6 in Lancashire (the flattest part of the ride, so far) we ran into another ElliptiGO rider – it was our buddy Chris! He

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LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS DIY had his wife Liz following in a van behind him, having come out to the Fylde Coast on a cycling break, with all his different bikes. At exactly the same time we met Chris we’d also spotted our buddy Shane, in a car parked by the roadside. Shane is an ElliptiGO dealer and also a mechanic – based in Preston – and he’d come out to provide mechanical support for me (just because he felt I might have needed it – we hadn’t actually planned this liaison beforehand). So after a while, when I was ready to stop for a 30-minute sleep break, Shane and Andy had got to work on my bike – doing a full service (including changing the track system load wheels and the chain – as well as lubricating everything on the bike), all while I had slept in Shane’s car. I was thrilled with the bike service – and the bike had felt brand new when I had got back on it. However, Shane had noticed some ‘play’ in the bottom bracket (the bearing running through the frame on which the cranks turn). He had kept quiet about it at the time – because he did not have a spare one to replace it with (and he didn’t want me to become preoccupied and paranoid about it). I had split up with Andy and Shane after Lancaster and had ridden on for a while with Chris (with Liz in the van – following behind us). Chris, Liz and I had split up just before dark – after they had given me a special Catholic pendant to carry for encouragement and for good luck. I had then continued on the A6 alone, into the Lake District. I had felt really upbeat as I headed towards Kendal, but as I got there (into the Lake District) I had to ride on big dual carriageways, which had looked like motorways, with very fast traffic. I had driven on those particular A-roads on previous family holidays to the Lake District, but they were not decent cycling roads (although legal to cycle on). There was a massive climb out of Kendal, which had taken me hours to complete – in total darkness. I had not anticipated its length, or its steepness, so it had been something of a low point after the lovely afternoon ride Leaving Exeter


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with Andy, Chris, Liz and Shane. My biggest regret at that point was the fact that I had discouraged Andy from riding all the way from Preston to Carlisle with me (which he had actually offered to do). I could really have done with some company on that third night ride. While descending the big climb and heading towards Carlisle I had felt extremely cold. I was unable to maintain my body temperature and had felt like I was shutting down. I had become very sleepy as well. I had tried to pedal harder, in order to warm up, but it wasn’t working – and even after completing the big descent the route was still very undulating (meaning lots of regular downhill stretches, with a very bad wind-chill). The hypothermia was causing me to almost doze off, whilst still on the bike. It was extremely rural out there and I could not find anywhere to sleep. There was ice and frost everywhere in the fields – and all the churches in those areas were inaccessible (churches are usually useful for impromptu sleep stops). I was becoming really concerned about my ability to continue in that state, but I had somehow fought all the way to Carlisle. I had found a service station on the route, where I had bought a snack wrap and some drinks. But I was unable to continue riding at that point and the guy in charge had taken pity on me and allowed me to use their storage rooms, behind the counter, to sleep. We brought my bike into the store so it would be safe and I had set up in the storeroom – which was really warm. I had set the alarm clock for just an hour of sleep, got myself into the bivvy sleeping bag, and just lay directly

on the solid floor – flat on my back. I was surprisingly comfortable sleeping like that… When the alarm rang I had got up quickly and packed up. I found new staff in the service station store (although the guy who had brought me in was still there as well) and I had set off on a crisp (but sunny) morning. I was feeling really upbeat heading towards Gretna (on a side-road beside the M6 motorway) and was actually on familiar ground, having ridden this route in the LEL 2013 Audax event. The route was quick in this section and I had enjoyed it for that reason. I had loved finally seeing the sign welcoming me to Scotland, which had brought back fond (and similarly triumphant) memories from the LEL Audax ride, 3 years before. But as the morning wore on the road had become increasingly rough – something I did not remember from the LEL 2013 ride. The bike was moving really slowly and I had noticed a strange, metallic, pinging noise – seemingly coming from the track system. At first it would only occur occasionally – every hour or so. It was very intermittent – and sounded like stones were getting in the bike’s tracks – which had made sense at the time (in view of the grittiness of the road surface). This strange sound would later turn out to be significant, because it was not being caused by what I had thought was causing it… I got through the very rough road section in the mid-afternoon and had expected to join the Scenic Route To Edinburgh – a truly scenic and quite gradual climb towards Edinburgh (which we had traversed during the LEL 2013 event). But, instead, I was routed onto a circuitous series of unending short climbs, on a completely different route to Edinburgh from the one we’d used in the LEL 2013 ride. The wind was strengthening by this point and really had slowed me down. But I had found the hilliness of the route really frustrating. Reaching Edinburgh had felt like an achievement and I was so frustrated with the difficulty of the route, by then, that I was just relieved to finally be there. I had started to feel groggy in the afternoon heat, with the headwinds and all the climbing – and when I got to the Forth Road Bridge I had seen my arrival there (symbolically) as a departure from that awful, slow route. I was right about that aspect – and the route had changed in nature from that point. I had actually sped up again, despite some big climbs along the way. There were some breathtakingly quick descents through the ensuing villages, so I was making up for the climbs with fast descending – on long and straight roads. Also, the road surfaces were good, so I was performing to my expected potential. I had started looking out for sleeping places that evening, from after dark (about 22:30 onwards), but was failing to find anywhere suitable to sleep – which had surprised me. I did eventually find a shopping centre with an ideally set up bus shelter in the car park (next to a car wash) and had parked my bike inside the shelter and lain on the bench, using the alarm to wake me 45

LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS DIY minutes later. I was exhausted (and onceagain hypothermic) by the time I had reached that point – and barely capable of stringing a sentence together. So the nap was very badly needed. When the alarm had rung I had taken a long time to re-orient myself. But I then got onto the A9 and rode well for some time, with the very gradual uphill drag ruling out any wind-chill, but still allowing a decent pace. I was still quite drowsy, despite having just slept, and that ‘alertness situation’ was not improving as I rode along. I had started feeling extremely cold as soon as the uphill riding had ended and the speed had picked up again – and was once again hypothermic (and unable to keep my body temperature up). I soon became disoriented again – and could not really remember why I was there. I could not figure out whether this ride was my own idea, or someone else’s idea. I sometimes could not remember what the objective of the ride was. I think I even forgot who I was, at some points that night. But I had an overshadowing instinct to just ride on – and to follow the map – whilst waiting for the rationale of why I was there to somehow come back to me… After 2 hours it still hadn’t come back to me why I was there – or what I was there for – and the cold had really messed me up, mentally. So I had started to search for new places to sleep along the route. I’d eventually found a hotel around Pitlochry – which had a nice veranda and a gazebo in the front – and I had set up there for a short sleep in the bivvy sleeping bag. It was about 6am by that time and I had slept for a full hour. When I awoke (with the help of the alarm, of course) I was finally back to normal – and it was warm enough for me to continue to ride (without any trouble with my body temperature). I had noticed my hands were feeling quite ‘tender’ by this point – and my right wrist was actually sore at this stage (with severe weakness in the last 3 fingers on the hand). This was due to the battering I had got on the rough roads to Edinburgh, on the previous day, from which my hands had not recovered. Even my feet had been battered by the vibration on those terrible roads to Edinburgh,

but they had recovered during my two short naps. I had a renewed sense of purpose and determination at this point in the ride, realising that the Audax time-limit of 113 hours was becoming a tight call if I didn’t get my act together and find a way to ride through the chill of the final night to come. Stopping was bringing down my average speed, closer and closer to the time limit (after having a 5-hour ‘buffer’ in the morning). I was riding along the old A9 road, now designated as a cycling ‘highway’. The road surface was good in some places – but rough in others – and whenever it had become too gritty, or too hilly, I would simply switch back to the main A9 highway and ride with the cars. The two routes ran alongside each other, making it really easy to change over at will. The headwind was a real nuisance in this part of the journey – and so were the hills. But despite those hindrances the bike had seemed to be uncharacteristically slow (for the effort I was putting in). And the strange noises, which I thought had sounded like dirt getting into the tracks, had become more and more frequent in this section of the ride – and more and more metallic-sounding… About 4-miles from a town called Dalwhinnie (the location of the world’s highest whiskey distillery) my chain had come off the sprockets. I was quite surprised by this and had immediately put it back on – and continued riding. But within minutes it was off again – and I then realised there was a serious problem. I’d quickly figured out what the strange intermittent noises had been (that were emanating from the bike earlier in the ride). They were actually being caused by the bottom bracket ball-bearings being ground down, as the bottom bracket had failed… The bottom bracket is the big robust bearing running through a bike frame – between the cranks – on which the cranks and chain ring turn. A bottom bracket failure is often a ride-ending mechanical setback on any bike ride – and I was well aware of this. I had attempted to tighten the chain further, to see if that would allow it to remain on the chain ring, until I could find a bike shop further along the route. But the bottom bracket had ceased completely by that point

At Nevis Cycles, Fort Wiliam

and the cranks were very wobbly (and could no longer even turn, because the ball bearings were completely destroyed in the bottom bracket). The trip had seemed to be in serious jeopardy at that point and I was already preparing myself for the worst. I did some quick searches on my phone for nearby bike shops – and even called a few to see if they could help – but the office-based operators where rather unhelpful (and had told me they already had customers booked in for bike servicing – and it would be unfair to let anyone jump the queue). Fair enough… My next line of inquiry was to leave my bike at layby 85 of the A9 and to walk across the A9 carriageway onto the neighbouring farm – where I could see a group of Land Rovers parked on the grass. I had wanted to see if any of those guys could help. I had thought they were fishermen parked at a stream, but upon getting closer I had realised it was actually a sheep farm. The cars had belonged to a group of farmers who were really busy – moving the sheep into pens – and the scene was quite chaotic. But, luckily, the farmer’s daughter had brought her toddler along to view the spectacle – and they had some local knowledge – so she had agreed to drive me (and the bike) to Dalwhinnie train station, where I could either link to a couple bike shops, which she’d identified for me (or even head for London, by train). At the train station I was not sure what to do – whether to concede and give up my quest – or to keep looking for solutions. I had phoned home and Ivy had given her consent for me to see it through, suggesting that I had invested too much (and gone too far) to back out without a big fight. So I had messaged my Audax support group back in England and the guys had rallied to find local bike shops (which had the specific bottom bracket we needed in stock – and were also willing to fit it at short notice). Ivy had also called around to different local bike shops and had come back to me with the name of a shop (and a mechanic) who were willing to help me. We had then narrowed things down to the closest and fastest options available – as well as the most definite shop

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LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS DIY to get the job done that same afternoon (some shops had said they could “probably” help, but had not confirmed all the specifics). I had lunch at the local “Toll Gate Café” while waiting for the taxi to collect me. We had decided on Nevis Cycles (a bike shop in Inverlochy, Fort William – at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain) to get the repair job done, after my support group had identified them as a stockist of my required bottom bracket. I had called to confirm they would definitely help with the task that same afternoon and the deal was sealed. I was connected (by the café, where I had lunch) to a local taxi company – and a friendly guy called Ruaridh (pronounced ‘Rury’) had shown up with an estate vehicle and conveyed me (and the bike) to Fort William. I had already been off the road for 3 hours when Ruaridh had arrived… Ruaridh was really helpful – and was also really interactive, when he needed to be. He had been an engaging ‘host’ and had kept my spirits up throughout the journey. I had slept in the car for much of the time – while we drove there and also during the bike repairs – but I had also used the visit to the bike shop as an opportunity to buy some wind-proof clothing for my final night of riding (knowing I could not face another episode of hypothermia). The windproof vest I got from Nevis Cycles had looked thin and flimsy, but I was assured it would do the job. We then drove back towards layby 85 of the A9 (where I had broken down). Along the way I had woken from my sleep in tremendous pain, with numbness and shooting pains all along my right arm and a completely numb right hand. Both my wrists were seriously swollen and I had almost no use of my right hand at all. I was in a panic and had asked if


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there was a nearby hospital I could go to, but Ruaridh had said there wasn’t. I had to take the situation into my own hands – so to speak – and had started massaging the wrists, specifically on the swollen parts. This had an immediate effect on the right hand, much to my surprise, and I had continued to do so until the fingers were all mobile again. I then did the same for the left wrist – and also took a dose of ibuprofen and paracetamol, to fight the swelling. It had seemed to work – really quickly… Within half an hour the hands were almost back to normal and the swelling had receded – which had seemed miraculous to me, at the time. I was still loathe to continue, despite this improvement, but Ruaridh had suggested that I try my best to continue – and had said he would even follow along in the taxi for a few miles, until I had decided to either call it off or continue. To my surprise, I had become completely normal (and fully comfortable) as soon as I started riding – and I knew at that point that I would succeed in completing the journey. My goal to finish the ride in under 113 hours (the Audax UK time limit for the distance) was no longer realistic, after about 9 hours off the road due to the mechanical problems – but the Guinness World Record (of 6 days and 10 hours, for the ElliptiGO ride across Britain) was still within my reach (having been riding for 4 days and 30 minutes at the time I had resumed the journey, at 18:45 on 30 May 2016). So the Guinness World Record had become my main focus from that point on – and I had made speedy progress along the A9 (and parallel routes) – stopping at a café for dinner, before heading out into the night for a non-stop ride into the morning. I was upbeat – and feeling strong – after more than 4 hours of sleep (during the down-time, whilst having the bike repaired). I did not get drowsy at all that night and actually enjoyed the night ride a lot. I had felt ‘progressive’ and fast again – and I was physically and mentally strong again. I had ridden strongly throughout the whole night. The wind speed had lowered, making for good progress through the night (despite the wind still actually blowing against my direction of travel – as it had for the entire journey – much to my surprise). I had powered all the way to Inverness, which I had entered at great speed – as I had descended the fast roads towards the bridge at Moray Firth. I had crossed the long bridge at Moray Firth and entered a very hilly final section of the course. The signs indicated 104-miles to John O’Groats, which, under the circumstances, did not actually seem too far. But it was exceedingly hilly in this part of Scotland – and progress was extremely slow. That might have been the slowest 104-miles I have ever ridden, thanks to all the wind and all the steep hill climbs. The climbing was causing me to overheat, but the fast descents were cold, so I could not strip off my layers of clothing. I had stopped just once during the final day, for lunch in a café along the coastal route, and then I had continued laboriously towards the finish. It was pointed out to me that afternoon, by my

support group, that I was probably on course for a 5-day finish time (and it was suggested, in the support group, that I might want to try to get to John O’Groats just under the 5-day mark for the full journey). That challenge had really engaged me at the time. I had been awake since the bike repair the previous afternoon – meaning that I was becoming quite drowsy again. So, in order to help keep myself lucid, I had started to sprint hard up all the uphills (and to relax on the downhills and flats). But that did not work, in that I still became quite drowsy and detached despite the big efforts. I had felt like I was no longer participating in the ride, instead I had felt like I was observing someone else riding. I regularly forgot why I was there – and what I was there for. I also had a weird sense of deja-vu all through that final afternoon of riding (everything had seemed familiar and I’d felt like I was anticipating the scenes that would appear around every curve in the road). But I had kept on pushing – physically (and even mentally). Sometimes I would sprint to the top of a long hill and then actually stop there to ponder where I was – or to ponder over why I was riding so hard. Then it would all come back to me again in a brief moment of clarity – and I would coast down to the foot of the next hill and start a new sprint for the next summit. But often, by the top of each successive hill, I would have once again forgotten what I was doing – or why! That’s sleep-deprivation for you! This ‘detached’ riding went on until I was very close to John O’Groats, at which point I was dead set on beating the 5-day mark (and I had become very lucid and alert again, as the end had neared). I had sprinted hard for the final hour of the journey, even on the downhill sections and flat sections of the course, but the road surfaces were very bad (as was the headwind – and the hills). So I was not quite able to make the sort of pace I had needed, if I was to finish the whole ride in under 5 days. Again, apart from the treacherous hills and the strong headwind, I can’t help but blame my lack of speed work in training for my lack of pace. My legs had never tired during this journey, I had always felt extremely strong and durable. But my pace was never great - and was always slightly slower than I had expected. This final part of the trip had seemed unending – and I could not understand why I hadn’t reached John O’Groats yet. The last 2-miles to John O’Groats were the most frustrating of all, as I’d realised I would probably not beat 5-days (but would likely get very close). So I had got suddenly furious as I rode those final 2-miles. I’d decided that

LAND’S END TO JOHN O’GROATS DIY I hated John O’Groats – and the ‘crappy’ roads – and the hills – and the deserted, derelict, old houses I could see everywhere – and the strong headwinds – and the barrenness of it all… I was really angry when I finally reached the ferry terminal at 18:19 – just 4 minutes over the meaningless 5-day ‘limit’ I had imposed on myself only that afternoon… I had failed to beat the Audax (BR) time limit of 113 hours, due to my 9 hours off the road on the previous day, but I had still completed the ride across Britain (despite quite serious mechanical setbacks) and I had broken the Guinness World Record (for riding across Britain on an elliptical cycle) by a whole day and 10 hours). However, at the time of my completion of the ride, that achievement had not been the foremost thing on my mind – at least not in those final minutes of riding – thanks to the effects of sleep-deprivation completely skewing my logic and my reasoning. But as soon as it was all over I had suddenly realised just how silly I was being and, in hindsight, I now put that sudden ‘fit’ of anger and frustration down to extreme fatigue (I’d been awake and riding for about 24 hours, without any real breaks and without any sleep at all). All the tourists taking photos and chatting to me at the John O’Groats Ferry Terminal had lifted my spirits. The representative of the End 2 End Association had presented me with a certificate to verify my trip time (of 5 days and 4 minutes – based on the stamp I got at the start of my ride, at Land’s End) and a medal. I had then ridden the 1-mile back to my B&B (which was located conveniently, just outside the ferry terminal). When I got to the B&B I had first uploaded my GPS data (which can be viewed on this link) and then I’d let all my family and friends know that I had finished safely. Then I had ordered two helpings of fish and chips – via Gordon (my host at the B&B) who was exceptionally helpful with everything during my short stay there. As mentioned earlier, I had mailed a change of clothing and fresh toiletries to Gordon, before setting off for Land’s End, so I had found them waiting for me when I got to John O’Groats. After eating my two helpings of fish and chips I’d fallen asleep in my room, whilst actually attempting to change out of my dirty cycling clothing to go for a shower. I had eventually got up again just before midnight and finally had that long-overdue shower! When I woke up, after having had a few hours of sleep to refresh my mind, the world had seemed like a much better place! At that point I was much better able to appreciate what I had achieved on the bike a few hours earlier. I had taken a full day longer than I’d planned, to ride across Britain, but I was actually okay with everything (and I was okay with the athletic achievement – and the general outcomes of my ride). More importantly, I had learned a lot on this journey – and I had seen the best of humanity, through the various challenges I had faced on the road (and through the various people who had selflessly helped

me to overcome them). For those reasons, I would not have had it any other way! This ride, as expected, had turned out to be a deeply spiritual experience for me. I had found the sorts of insights and surprises I had hoped for prior to making the undertaking – and much more. One of the things I really like about these big ‘expeditions’ is the fact that the stories they generate are always very unpredictable. Heading into a major event, all I know beforehand is that I am mentally and physically prepared - and that I will reach the end, in one way or the other. I also know that if I truly give my all – and use my experience – I will get a good outcome. Beyond that, the rest is as much of a surprise

to me as it is to anyone else who happens to observe the undertaking. And that’s the whole adventure of it all. But, paramount to all of this, is the knowledge that true effort and determination will yield learnings and experiences which I could not have possibly conceived – or gained by other means – and the knowledge that the spiritual quest I am on will be advanced by every trip I make into the ‘wilderness’ of the open road. This aspect makes it a special (and earned) privilege every time I take on a major cycling challenge. It is a very special type of ‘meditation’ or ‘retreat’ for me and by isolating myself in this way I often feel that I am actually connecting more closely with everything, everyone, myself – and even with God...

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133



I read with interest the review on the Bifocal Sports Sunglasses from BZ Optics in the last issue of Arrivée. With all due respect to Tim Wainwright’s excellent piece, I feel I ought to draw readers’ attention (at least those with “reading” difficulties !) to a company whose products I can heartily recommend through personal use over many audax rides. Having bought a Garmin to help on LEL 2013 it seemed a good idea to be able to read its advice. Hence, as I struggled with close-vision, some kind of bi-focals were what I wanted. Many people will no doubt have balked at the prices being asked for these “Sports Glasses”, when I could buy reading glasses in supermarkets for only a few pounds. When I discovered Straightlines and their Safety Glasses ( BiFocalSafetySite/bifocal-safety-glasses) I thought something must be wrong. Bi-Focals at under £10? It did seem to good to be true. However, during the past three years I

have used them over thousands of kms with excellent results. They are of a cycling shape with rubber temples, a cord and rubber nose buds. Though the buds do occasionally come off (they have replacements) they have proved pretty much faultless during this time. The added benefit of being “Safety” glasses may not be of particular use, as I don’t envisage nails flying at my eyes on Audax rides (though you never know!) but it is surely reassuring to know that you are so protected. There are three types (smoke, clear and yellow tint) and though the photochromic properties are an ideal, in practice I will choose the pair most appropriate for the ride I’m planning. The final plus for me is that I’m not fraught with concern over sitting on/losing/breaking my favourite pair of hugely expensive branded glasses as they could be easily and inexpensively replaced.

Alistair FitzPatrick, Dulwich Paragon CC


A while ago Tom Elkins wrote stating there were some events he would not enter because of the standard of the route sheets. My feelings aren’t as strong as his but I do think it’s time there were more definitive guidelines about writing route sheets. The format recommended in the organisers’ guidelines is good and most use it, but there should be an ‘idiots guide’ to setting it up. For my first event as an organiser the route sheet was not in that format because at the time my computer literacy was limited. I emailed AUK – forget who – requesting guidance and never received a reply. I eventually got guidance from Keith Harrison, both of us sitting at his laptop and then ‘cracked it’ after trial and error on my own pc. On the day it was commented on but fortunately light-heartedly. The nature of audax routes is that organisers sometimes have to explain situations where it would be difficult to offer definitive guidelines. At the same time, I

ADVENTURES OF A NORFOLK NEWBIE by Ian Whiteside EVENT The Cambridge Spring Dash DATE 19th March 2016 DISTANCE 100km LOCATION Girton, Cambridge ORGANISER Nick Wilkinson, Cambridge Audax


’m quite new to Audax, riding my first one at the age of 65, having only taken up riding on retirement. There was though quite a gap between my first and second rides, largely because the weather on that first one was so bad. The abiding memory is of spending the second half of the day riding into a strong SW, cold and rain. Even sat by the fire all evening, couldn’t get the cold out of my body. That experience put me off Audax for a while although of course it was really nothing to do with Audax and everything to do with being ill-prepared. Three years ago I decided to give it another try, by now being more experienced at cold and wet weather riding, and encouraged by fellow 40-Plus Club member Derek Snowling. Derek will be well known to many in cycling circles – I am assuming this because he seems to know everybody when we are out riding – and he was a great support when things weren’t going so well. He is also patient, always waiting for me at the top of hills!


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This Audax season, I’ve set myself some goals. So first up, in November 2015, was Swaffham, what I thought should be a fairly flat ride round North West Norfolk. Wrong. As a lifelong resident of Essex, hills are not my forte, so the amount of climbing on this ride was outside my expectation. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t. The rain did hold off until about 13.00 but then did get heavy, result was back at Swaffham cold, wet and tired – just like my first Audax. In March, a newcomer to the Audax calendar, the Cambridge Spring Dash, attracted my attention. The forecast was not great, but no rain. So why, on the way north on the M11, were my windscreen wipers going? By the time of arrival at HQ, the rain had stopped and briefly, very briefly, the sun appeared. It had gone by the 09.00 push off which made the cold NE wind feel, well, cold. A quick but comprehensive briefing from organiser Nick Wilkinson and it was off. From HQ the first part of the ride was through the centre of Cambridge. I decided the safest thing was to cling to the coat tails of those who seemed to know their way until we got out the other side of the centre. At a set of lights, I was checking my route sheet when rider pulled up beside me and we got chatting. He was resident in the area, knew his way round the edge of the city and assured me we were on the right road. He told me he had moved from North Devon a couple of years ago so I thought it best not to mention that I wasn’t looking forward to the climbs ahead as I was sure he would just laugh! It had been fairly easy riding so far with a NE breeze giving a gentle push along through Little Shelford, then Whittlesford and Duxford from where the gradient was largely upward. With a long climb – remember

words like climb and hill are relative in this part of England – it was into Essex at Elmdon. It’s around here that it becomes a bit difficult to know which County you are in as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire all meet. A clue for those of us who ride in the area is the pot-hole per kilometre measure, not to mention the surface material. Not having done a scientific study, this is a bit subjective but for my money, Cambridgeshire is at the foot of this triumvirate when it comes to potholes, a mantle they have taken from Essex who seemed to think there was kudos in having more potholes than anyone else. Things sort of levelled out after Elmdon and back briefly in Cambridgeshire through Heydon before entering Hertfordshire. A good long descent and it was back up again before reaching the peak on the approach to Barkway of – wait for it – 465ft! This was the first control and one of the highlights of the ride. At the Tally Ho in Barkway, it was a bit too early for alcoholic refreshment but the range of food and drink on offer was impressive and was being eagerly consumed by riders. Next it was on into Essex where picturesque villages abound across the undulating but happily still hedge-rowed countryside of north west Essex. Riders were encouraged to take a very short diversion to get a good look at Audley End House; I didn’t as it is somewhere I’ve visited lots of times. The only significant settlement on the route, apart from Cambridge, was Saffron Walden, busy on a Saturday with a lot of impatient drivers. We passed the fairly new Bicicletta in the centre of the town – a combined bike and coffee shop which was proving very popular with riders judging by the bikes outside. The ride became a bit more dreary after Saffron Walden, not just because of the

CORRESPONDENCE & NOTICES OBITUARY suggest there are situations where there could be. For example, I rode two events recently where the route sheets were saying things like “ at junction left/right SP...” and “at crossroads left/ right SP...” I found that misleading, as did others, because from the directions we were coming we were not approaching a junction or crossroads. We would have been if we were coming along the roads we had to turn onto in the opposite direction to junction with the roads we were on. All the instruction needed was “left/right SP...” Obviously if you are used to it being explained in the more usual way, then deviations from it are going to ‘throw’ and it could be easy to go offroute. I certainly think there could be definitive instructions as to what constitute junctions and crossroads and when to just indicate ‘left/right.’ Finally, having made my points I’m not suggesting my route sheets are perfect. Planning routes is an intense process and us organisers being human make mistakes.

John Thompson

Nik Peregrine Nik Peregrine, known to many as the organiser of a number of very testing Welsh AUK events, died following a long illness on 1st June 2016. The rides he organised were known for their challenging nature, but it wasn’t always the gradients that pushed riders to their limits – some remember crossing the Gospel Pass on foot in deep snow, while others recall the ‘idiosyncratic’ nature of his routes, such as the Mountain Roads of South Wales 200, which was ‘slightly over distance at 240km’. To those who knew him, such quirks were a reflection of his own approach to riding. A demon trikie, he was fearsomely fast on descents on three wheels. He also rode Paris-Brest-Paris in 1983 on a Moulton, toured in many parts of the world. ‘His palmarès with such a range of machines has few rivals.’

Despite his reputation as a ‘hardrider’, off the bike he has been remembered for his kindness, modesty and quietly spoken nature. His house was the finish venue for early versions of both the Welsh 400 and 600. Outside of cycling, his other interests were steam trains (he helped restore the Talyllyn Railway), and old Citroens – he owned a variety of 2CVs and an H-van at various times. Nik’s funeral was held on 14th June at the Forest of Dean Crematorium, travelling to the service by H-Van, followed by a convoy of 2CVs. His wife, Jen, survives him. Donations in memory of Nik are welcome – the family’s chosen charity is The Wye Wander Route (www.wyecycle., which aims to achieve a shared use route linking the Severn Bridge via the Wales coastal Path and onward up the Wye Valley to Monmouth.

scenery but the cloud was increasing as was the strength of the wind – and no surprise to find that what had been a light North Easterly riding with the wind was now a moderate North Easterly riding into it. A busy road from Saffron Walden to Ashdon where traffic did ease as the route headed back into Cambridgeshire just before Shudy Camps, veering northwards to the outskirts of Withersfield where the last control was located, this time at a pub called Bradman’s, named after a certain Australian cricketer whose family we were told once owned the pub. Service was a bit slow here so for those on a time budget, it was a bit frustrating, but on the plus side, they’d organised an Audax menu and were friendly. From here it was more or less down-hill all the way – well it would have to be after all that climbing to reach 465ft – through West Wickham and Balsham with a particularly welcome stretch of about five miles (sorry, I mean eight kilometres) to the Cambridge dormitory village of Fulbourn. After that, it was slow going with numerous junctions, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings meaning that the last few kilometres seemed to take forever, although in reality, probably only about thirty minutes. This was a well organised ride from good directions on where to park, very clear route sheets and hot refreshment at start and finish, so well done Nick on an impressive debut. And back to the climbing, if any of you north of Lincoln or west of Bedford are interested, it totalled 2,249ft!


Three tandems for sale, two Claud Butler and one other. The tandems are in Brighton, Sussex. For details, please contact John Manville by telephone 01273 417420 or email

Photos by Steve Poulton

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In Praise of Mandatory Routes W by Colin Gray

hy do I ride a bike? For me it’s mainly to enjoy the countryside. Britain has wealth of it with plenty of variation and, from a cyclists point of view, it’s often criss crossed by a myriad of lanes, bridle paths and minor roads. Cycling is also a great way to appreciate the nation’s flora, fauna, wonderful little villages or the parkland associated with its rich history . At 5 am on the National 400 in Norfolk on deserted lanes I saw numerous rabbits, hares, a stoat, a young deer and a fox all within an hour. It’s also good to do this in company and to visit different areas, which for me is the big attraction of audax rides. However there are some aspects of audax riding that I don’t like. I prefer to avoid main roads. As I get older I get increasing nervous about fast moving traffic passing far too close. Main roads are usually quicker but can often be very tedious. I spent ages studding the LEL draft route before deciding it would be a largely pleasant ride and in the event the ‘route master’ did a fine job for such a long ride. I do recall a very boring section north of St Ives and the Home Counties ‘rat runs’ towards the end were not much fun but generally it was a great route. I also dislike riding in the dark. For one thing you won’t see the flora and fauna but I often tend to feel disorientated and, if tired, nauseous. On LEL we rode two short sections at night and I was sick on both occasions. This coupled with less than perfect eyesight, which means that I can’t always see potholes, mean that I avoid night riding if at all possible. Furthermore, in my youth, having risked my life due to sleep deprivation on the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race I feel there are enough risks on our roads without adding to them due to lack of concentration and not being fully in control of my bike. I have completed three SR series and LEL with a minimum of four hours proper sleep between successive days rides and I have no intention of changing that approach. In an attempt to keep my ‘Carbon footprint’ down I will not drive a long distance to the start of an event, unless it’s something very special; e.g. the National 400. Normally an hour’s drive each way is most I will consider.


o what has this got to do with Mandatory routes. Well firstly it’s probably fairly obvious that there are a large number of calendar events that I would never ride. Unless I have previously ridden an event I always download a GPX track, if available. If the route does not look pleasant or interesting with a minimum of main road I will give it a miss. That will often rule out 400 and 600 events, because they often include long sections of main road to make navigation at night easier. Additionally many longer rides have a start time, which make riding in the dark essential and some do not have adequate arrangements for proper sleep. I always ride to build up


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a suitable ‘buffer’ allowing time to sleep once darkness arrives. Consequently most of my three SR series were completed with DIY Permanent rides; start and finish of each day from my home allowing for a decent meal and a comfortable bed between successive days. No sleep deprivation, no riding in the dark and almost entirely on minor roads. However our DIY Permanents had to be organised under the ‘Advisory’ route arrangements since they were before ‘Mandatory’ routes were allowed under Audax UK rules. This resulted in hours of painstaking work and constant communication with our Midlands Organiser who evaluated our routes. After initially establishing the basis of a possible route I then needed to choose a set of control points. Whilst my route between controls followed minor roads where possible I needed to check the shortest route possible, by either using Microsoft Autoroute or Google Maps set to ‘Walking’. Eventually I managed to resolve this but was told that there were too many control points. This usually meant back to the mapping software where the forced compromise was between using main roads or adding a lot of extra distance. Often it was possible to resolve these issues by choosing different control points; again more painstaking work. Since our controls were validated by a GPX track at least we didn’t require an ATM or 24 hours services. At other times I had to completely redesign a whole route. Invariably this needed two maps; one with our intended route and one meeting the minimum distance under the ‘Advisory’ arrangements. What’s more I am sure it took a lot of time for the Organiser to validate the route submitted. Those who have organised an audax will understand precisely the points I am making, and that’s why calendared events often have one or more information controls.


ut what difference do Mandatory routes make? Firstly they make the job far easier. Just pick out a nice route modifying it until the total distance is achieved. Its probably best to ensure it’s 1-2% longer than needed just in case the mapping software is not entirely accurate. Generally a route established with Garmin mapping, Open Street Map or Googlemaps is likely to be comfortably within these limits. I usually establish routes using Garmin MapSource or BaseCamp but it can easily be done using Online mapping e.g. Strava, MapMyRide, RidewithGPS, etc. Garmin’s default is a GDB File but ensure you create a GPX file as this will be required for your entry. Finally you will need to identify control points to meet Audax UK requirements (once ever 50-80 km). The easiest way to do this is to identify your potential café stops, temporally split your track (Simple with Garmin Mapping.) and note them down ready to complete your entry. Being fairly familiar with the mapping software I use this took me less than two hours to establish a 600 km route and that includes

DIY ROUTES ensuring the distance on day one is ideal in terms of providing 5 to 6 hours in my own bed. Under the ‘Advisory’ arrangements this task took circa 20 hours for each of the three previous 600 km rides I planned. Presumably it’s also far simpler for the regional coordinator to whom our entry is submitted for approval. No detailed checking of the shortest distance between controls, a fairly time consuming task, just review the length of the track.


hilst the planning is easy there is one potential problem using a Mandatory route. It is essential to follow precisely the track submitted as part of your entry and ensure that you have a complete GPX tracklog to cover the whole route. I presume that in the event of coming across a road closure a detour will be acceptable provided the required distance is achieved. In the event of a SatNav failure you will not be able to use receipts from your controls unless your route also meets advisory requirements, which if your ride has been planned to be Mandatory is very unlikely. In this respect my advice is to use the relatively cheap Etrex 20 or 30 as your recording and navigating device, but do make sure you have replacement batteries with you. As long as the Etrex is on it will be recording a tracklog; in general it’s far more stable and less likely to crash than other Garmins. If you do insist on using a Garmin 500, 705, 800, 810, or 1000 the make sure that you always press the restart button if it is switched off during a café stop. However for anything over 200 km you will certainly need to carry an external battery or recharger for any of these devices, neither of which is a perfect option. External batteries tend to leave the devices USB port liable to the ingress of water and 30 minutes of recharging in a café will add less than 2 hours to the operating time before the battery runs down. A mobile phone might be a suitable back up in the event of your main device shutting down, but again they have quite limited battery time when recording a tracklog. Bearing in mind how many people own a GPS device I suggest you borrow one from a friend and keep it handy in your pocket or saddle bag as an emergency back up. Think how ‘gutted’ you would be to get to 595 km to find your device shuts down. Tracks from two devices can easily be joined, or submit them both to validate your ride.

organiser who is using them and for which distances. Note, if it’s a group ride, everyone needs to complete an online entry form.


o in conclusion give it a try. Find a longish ride you have really enjoyed on e.g. on STRAVA, Training Centre or your account on the Garmin Website and then modify it until it’s the required distance. Complete the online entry and off you go, preferable with a few mates for company. As a bonus, if you wish to change the day on which you wish to ride for any reason this can be done by e-mailing the organiser anytime up to midnight the day before you ride. FOOTNOTE It appears to me that the confusing system of entering DIY permanents on the Audax UK Website is in need of an overhaul. The requirements for each type of route would be far clearer if there was separate entry forms for Mandatory and Advisory routes. For a mandatory route there should be some way of attaching the GPX file of your proposed route to the entry for m and any mention of grid references, which are not relevant, should be removed. It would also make sense if payment was part of the entry process. When you enter a calendar event ‘online’ payment, via PayPal is part of the process. A DIY Permanent, certainly by Mandatory route, needs to be no different as it’s not possible to enter by post. The different ways of obtaining a virtual brevit is also confusing and it would be far more straight forward if this was automatically linked to the entry. I suggest that a similar arrangement would also be OK for Advisory DIY Permanents. Since it’s hardly possible to design an appropriate route without some IT skills and access to the internet then online entry linked to PayPal ought to be acceptable, and a GPX file or scanned receipts obtained at controls should be easy for rider and organiser. This does, however, need a different entry form since controls must be exactly specified, e.g. by map references. I would suggest that there are very few, if any, entries for DIY Permanents where all the entries, communications and validation are not done online and via e-mail.


inally the biggest problem you may have is making sense of the entry system on the audax UK website. There is a very clear explanation of what is required including the difference between Advisory and Mandatory routes at However the entry form could be clearer. You only need to give place names and distances for controls for a Mandatory route, but there is nowhere to indicate that you intend to ride your event as a Mandatory route so I suggest you add that in the comments box. There is also no way of including your GPX track but when you complete the form the confirmatory e-mail gives the e-mail address of the organiser. Use this to send your GPX track as an attachment to an e-mail. There are also different ways to purchase a virtual brevit to pay for your entry, and the cost is different according to which way you go through the website. If you are riding more than one DIY or doing it with others it’s probably best to use the ‘BUY CARDS HERE’ link to buy a block of cards and tell the

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01379 650419 Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133




Just a Sec…

‘Please allow me to introduce myself…’ …as the new General Secretary of Audax UK


took on the role in May as a board appointment, subject to ratification at the next AGM. Fortunately, I have been very well looked after by my two predecessors; Paul Stewart and John Sabine and I am very grateful for their assistance and, indeed, patience. Looking in from the outside, there are any numbers of opinions, to be found on internet forums and elsewhere, on what the board may or not be doing and what may or may not motivate the individual board members. I attended my first board meeting at the end of June to find that I had joined a group of extremely dedicated volunteers with an incredibly diverse knowledge base that they apply, with huge chunks of their own time, to doing what they feel is best for our association. Of course, this should come as no surprise; all of our activities rely on people giving up their time as organisers, helpers, validators and delegates etc. By necessity, a great deal of what has come out of official channels over the recent past has been associated with the switch to a limited company structure and updating it to help AUK deal with the demands that our continued development brings. There were and are good reasons for adopting such a structure, and modernising it, but I was pleased to find that the board operates just as much or more as a traditional management committee as it does as a corporate board. The actual time spent on company matters is almost insignificant as compared to the time spent on the practicalities of running a members’ association. We are now well into the peak of the Audax season and, judging by the reports presented at the latest board meeting, it looks like being another successful year for AUK. This year has seen more events at 300k or more than any previous non-PBP year. We have also seen an increase in events over 600k being organised


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by AUK organisers or ridden overseas by AUK riders. All of this bodes well for audax in the UK as we look forward to LEL 2017. In amongst all the positive news, we received the worst possible news in April with the death of Richard Ellis during the Dorset Coast 200, following his involvement in a road traffic accident. I am sure all of the members of AUK will join the board in expressing our heartfelt sympathy to Richard’s family and all those affected by this tragic incident.


Since the last secretary’s report the following appointments have been made: n Communications Director – Ged Lennox (subsequently elected at the AGM) n General Secretary – Graeme Provan n IT Manager – Richard Jennings Richard has hit the ground running, and his newly recruited team of member business analysts are poring over the management practices of directors and delegates to determine our future IT requirements. He is also working closely with the hard working members who maintain our current system, Francis Cooke and Terry Kay.


Following the motion passed at last year’s AGM, the next AGM will provisionally take place in Birmingham on the 11th February 2017. Further details will be announced in the next issue of Arrivee. It is hoped that, as promised at the last AGM, subsequent AGMs will continue to be held at that time of year when events are sparser. In previous years we have moved to a system of postal voting. This is effectively a proxy vote as required by the Companies Act 2006. Sections 324 and 325 of that Act read: 324 Rights to appoint proxies (1) A member of a company is entitled to appoint another person as his proxy to exercise all or any of his rights to attend and to speak and vote at a meeting of the company.

325 Notice of meeting to contain statement of rights (1) In every notice calling a meeting of a company there must appear, with reasonable prominence, a statement informing the member of— (a) his rights under section 324, …) These provisions are mandatory. Full details and confirmation of the date will appear in a future issue of Arrivée. The same arrangements as last year will apply in respect of those who wish to receive AGM materials by post. The annual report and accompanying papers and the proxy form will be emailed to all members for whom we hold an email address and will also be published via the AUK website. Printed materials will not automatically be sent out to other members. Members who would like to receive printed reports and proxy form must register for the service using the form opposite.


This year’s reunion will be held in Taunton on the weekend of 11-13 November. Audax Club Bristol have been working hard on hosting the event which will be the first reunion that does not feature an AGM. In addition to the usual social rides, dinner and presentation ceremony, it is likely that there will be a mixture of formal and informal sessions during the Saturday. The formal sessions will include an opportunity to debate and discuss any motions that have been received for the AGM. There should also be a strategy session with a number of board members in attendance. ACB are working on the informal part of the programme – more details of which opposite.

Graeme Provan, Secretary, Audax UK



2016 AUK Annual Reunion AUK Systems and awards presentation refresh


his year the new format reunion without the AGM will take place from the 11-13 November at the Holiday Inn Taunton hotel. Its close to M5 Jct 25 & Taunton Parkway rail so easy to find for those not riding down. As well as your usual Dinner Darts to and from the event, Audax Club Bristol will be organising a group 200km Dart from Bristol Temple Meads on the Friday for those coming from further afield. There will also be a different route back on the Sunday. For the Friday evening we are planning to show a couple of great cycling films to keep you entertained (more details to follow) As we don’t have the AGM taking up time on the Saturday, we have planned a few extra events for attendees including a 100km social ride on the Saturday. The will route be taking in the spectacular views across Exmoor and there will be a shorter 50km loop back for those who just want a morning ride. We will also have open sessions in the afternoon where members can send questions or comments for the board in beforehand or give them on the day as well as a session where we debate potential or actual motions in advance of the AGM in February. There will

AUDAX UNITED KINGDOM LONG DISTANCE CYCLISTS’ ASSOCIATION Ltd Company No. 05920055 registered in England & Wales Registered Address: 25 Bluewater Drive, Elborough, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 8PF

also be the chance to discuss any Audax related subjects from GPS master classes, equipment, to running your own local club. For the evening we will have the Awards presentation and Dinner featuring guest speaker Mike Hall. Mike has just won the 2016 Tour Divide, and is a previous winner of the TransAm Bicycle Race and the 18,000 mile World Cycle Race. After the dinner we have an exclusive preview showing of the new Mille Pennines film by Damon Peacock. Sunday will see those riding home depart after a hearty breakfast! The usual mix of single and double rooms will be offered, along with Fri/Sat night packages. Online booking will be available soon via a link on the AUK website, but anyone wishing to book by post should contact Paul Rainbow (07969 901 090) and a postal form will be sent out. Prices are expected to be as follows: n £70 per night for single occupancy n £80 for double occupancy n £18 for 3 course dinner only (no acomm.)


ollowing a call for help with updating the AUK systems, there was an encouraging response from the membership who have professional skills that can be applied to shaping such a project. I am very grateful to those who are giving their time in the evening and weekends to specify what we need in the future. We are still at the early stages of the project, and so I don’t want to commit to any timescales at present. Thank you for your continued support.

Richard Jennings, IT Manager

Paul Rainbow, Reunion Organiser

Mike Hall Photo: Cm2white/CC


To join in discussion of official AUK business, or anything else related to long-distance cycling, visit the AUK forum at:

You will need your AUK membership number and password to log in and reply to messages.

To: Audax UK Registrar, 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0SF I would like to register for a printed ballot. Signed:_______________________________________________________ Name:_______________________________________________________ AUK Membership No:________________ Date: _______________________

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133



Audax Mileater News, July 2016


t’s been a while since I’ve summarised the diaries of the Mileater entrants. So, somewhat belatedly, you‘ll find some quotes from the 2014 and 2015 diaries below. However, before that some news! After many years of coordinating the Mileater competition I am handing over to a new organiser chosen by the AUK Board: Paul Worthington. Paul will be coordinating all aspects of the Mileater competition and the ‘Thousand Mile’ claims from September 2016. All diaries and entries should now be sent to Paul at his address below. I have ordered medals for those 2015 entrants who paid for them and they should arrive later in the year (it all depends on the engraver’s workload!). However, if you have not received a 2015 medal that you were expecting (or there is an error in the engraving) by the end of August please contact me (Rob Hidderley) and I will endeavour to have the matter resolved. All other correspondence regarding the Mileater should now be directed to Paul. My thanks to all those Mileaters who have entered during the 10+ years I have been coordinating the competition. It has been a pleasure to read your diaries each year; thank you for sharing your reminiscences with me (and sometimes the Arrivee readership too). Some of the diaries made a big impression on me; Pat Kenny’s formidable yearly totals, Eric Hughes’ diaries illustrated by photographs, Mary Jane Watson’s small cartoons, Petula Watson overcoming her physical challenges in pursuit of cycling pleasure and Noel Simpson for tales from France and his support. Although I’ve met very few of you ‘in the flesh’; I’ve valued your yearly updates through the diaries and have felt your pleasure (and pain), thanks.

EXTRACTS FROM THE 2014 AND 2015 DIARIES 1/1/14 “Off to Antarctica for 3 weeks (no bikes allowed)” RC 4/1/14 “… Wet and more wet, controls warm. Had a rear flat tyre in the dark, rather pleased how quickly I mended it.” LR 25/1/14 “Spectacular thunderstorm at Lavenham, luckily by best bus shelter in Suffolk.” TD 25/1/14 “Usual ‘Round the Island’ route, v. pleasant at first but wind got up and I was blown to a standstill going up to the Needles!” HS 12/2/14 “Wild Wednesday? Happy to get home from work in one piece.” RJ 54

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7/3/14 “Wonderful week, thunderstorms, more heavy rain.” NS (in France) 9/3/14 “Recovery ride to local pub, been closed since Christmas Eve due to flooding. Also makes 200 miles for the week. Plus know why I’ve been feeling so run down – had Shingles again!” LR 15/3/14 “… had stomach cramps and probably didn’t drink enough. Much better after heavily salted chips at Baldock and Ginger beer at pub in Ashwell!” TD 3/4/14 “Out and about again, sucking in the Sahara desert” RC 4/5/14 “Made mistake re forecast, rain started 3 hours earlier than I thought. You get very wet when you don’t have mudguards.” CH 9/5/14 “Saw little Egret at Hayling bridge.” TF 18/5/14 “Gran Fondo Nove Colli with 11,000 other cyclists. Did 130k course with 4 big hills – warm day” TF May 2014 “DNF@900k – on top of the Louploup pass due to broken crank; this broke my heart.” SK May 2014 “(200) started in a downpour @ 3:00 am. The second Sunday in a row that I had over 1 inch of rain in my handlebar bag – keeps rain out and if it rains in it keeps it in.” SK 15/6/14 “… flat rear tyre taking bike out of car at home! If you must have a puncture that’s the best time!” CH 29/7/14 “Mystery of disappearing Mulberry fruits – Golden Orioles” NS Dec 2014 “Haiku from Kent Peterson: Ti bike, wool jersey, Leather saddle, GPS Still have to pedal” SK 3/1/15 “…rain all morning, 3 punctures, 1 broken chain (not mine) Pub stop for consolation.” TD 1/2/15 “Thrown out of house to do it [Audax Ireland 200k permanent] – light dusting of snow not an acceptable excuse.” WD 28/2/15 “200k Brevet: Four punctures and broken derailleur cable so last 40k in the wee cog” WD

6/3/15 “… woke to a beautiful spring day. Cycled to Compton Bay through Shorwell and Brighstone which were full of Crocuses and Snowdrops and Daffodils. It was nice to have a break but this is my life and I love it!” HS 22/3/15 “Wayfarer ride … When someone’s chain snapped how come it was the only woman in 16 blokes who had a spare quick link?” HS 12/4/15 “Why oh why? Why do I do it? Am I so slow of wit that it’s taken me all these years to realise I am not Grimpeur shaped? The Hell of the Sussex Coastal Hills – it is as it states ‘absolute coastal’ – still it was nice and sunny!” RC 1/8/15 “Another sportive. Still a childish pleasure in overtaking some young fella’s carbon on my steel Mercian with Carradice flapping at the back” WD CH – Colin Horne; HS – Hilary Searle; LR – Louise Rigby; NS – Noel Simpson; TD - Tom Deakins; RC – Robbie Calder; RJ – Ray Joiner; SK – Spencer Klassen; TF – Tricia Farnham; WD – William Dickey

2014 SUMMARY STATISTICS AND RESULTS The 2014 winner of the Mick Latimer trophy with 23,190 miles was Peter Baker, the member of the opposite sex with the next highest total was Judith Swallow with 18,385 miles. 7 people rode over 10,000 miles during 2014 and the average yearly miles of the entrants was 7197 miles.

2015 SUMMARY STATISTICS AND RESULTS The 2015 winner of the Mick Latimer trophy with 20,086 miles is Peter Baker, the member of the opposite sex with the next highest total was Judith Swallow with 19,008 miles. 8 people rode over 10,000 miles during 2015 and the average yearly miles of the entrants was 7366 miles.

So that’s all folks, here are Paul’s contact details: Paul Worthington 213 Greenhill Road, Allerton, Liverpool L18 9ST Now, must try to get some miles in – in between work and… and….

Rob Hidderley, Mileater co-ordinator


Chair: Chris Crossland • 01422 832853 14 Stanley Street West, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire HX6 1EF General Secretary: Graeme Provan Marlborough House, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford CM1 1LN

Registrar: Les Hereward 20 Webster Close, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0SF Finance Director: Paul Salmons 25 Bluewater Drive, Elborough, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 8PF

Accounts: Nigel Armstrong Directors without Portfolio Chris Boulton 15 Adel Towers Close, Leeds LS16 8ES John Sabine 107 Victoria Way, London SE7 7NU

MEMBERSHIP Membership Secretary: Mike Wigley Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX

Membership Assistants – Renewals Peter Gawthorne Allan Taylor Findlay Watt

Membership Assistants – Enrolments Peter Davis Richard Jennings

CALENDAR EVENTS, PERMANENTS & SOCIAL Calendar Events Secretary: Martin Foley 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU

Audax Altitude Award (AAA): Steve Snook 6 Briggland Court, Wilsden, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD15 0HL

Regional Events Delegates Scotland & N England: Nigel Hall SE England: Pat Hurt Midlands & E England: Geoffrey Cleaver SW England & Wales: Ian Hennessey

Ordre des Cols Durs (OCD): Rod Dalitz 136 Muir Wood Road, Edinburgh EH14 5HF

Permanent Events Secretary John Ward • 01590 671205 34 Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9GJ DIY Regional Representatives Midlands, N & Mid Wales: Chris Smith NE England: Joe Applegarth NW England: Julian Dyson Scotland: Martin Foley SE England: Paul Stewart SW England & S Wales: Tony Hull Yorkshire & East: Andy Clarkson

RRTY Award Secretary: Caroline Fenton Fixed Wheel Challenge (FWC) & Super Fixed Wheel: Richard Phipps 77 West Farm Avenue, Ashtead, Surrey KT21 2JZ Event Services Director & Recorder: Peter Lewis • 07592 018947 82 Pine Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh SO53 1JT

LRM/ACP Correspondent: Chris Crossland Brevet Card Production Secretary: Oliver Iles 49 Upper Belmont Rd, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9DG Validation Secretaries: Susan Gatehouse & Keith Harrison 11 Heather Avenue, Hellesdon, Norwich NR6 6LU Annual Awards Secretary: Mike Lane 8 Ford Lane, Emersons Green, Bristol BS16 7DD Reunion Organiser: Paul Rainbow 49 Quarrington Road, Horfield, Bristol BS7 9PJ

SYSTEMS IT Manager: Richard Jennings support: Francis Cooke • 0161 4499309

COMMUNICATIONS & PUBLICATIONS Communications Director: Ged Lennox Spring Cottage Harley Wood Nailsworth Gloucestershire GL6 0LB AUK Forum ( Martin Foley AUK Forum Assistants Peter Lewis, Les Hereward (Moderators)

Arrivée Editors Winter: Sheila Simpson • 0161 449 9309 33 Hawk Green Road, Hawk Green, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7HR Spring: Tim Wainwright • 020 8657 8179 4a Brambledown Road, South Croydon CR2 0BL

Summer: David Kenning • 07734 815133 Little Orchard, Pean Hill, Whitstable CT5 3BQ Autumn: Peter Moir • 01993 704913 2 Peel Close, Ducklington, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 7YB

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Winnats Pass, The Peak District

LeJOG Hardcore Stage 10

Wrynose Pass, The Lake District


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LEJOG Hardcore Words & photography by John Potter


set off from Land’s End on 27th July 2015, well prepared and full of energy. I arrived at John O’Groats on 14th August 2015, half-dead but ecstatic. “Nothing special about that,” I hear you correctly point out. Well, this one has a twist: welcome to LEJOG Hardcore. Rather than the usual 874 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats, this one heads straight for all the toughest climbs in the country, in all of the most splendid areas of the country, clocking up 1,848 miles with 137,000 feet of climbing. As well as being the toughest, I am claiming that this is the most beautiful cycling journey that the United Kingdom has to offer, visiting ten of the United Kingdom’s National Parks and eight Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From Land’s End in Cornwall you pedal on to Dartmoor and Exmoor in the south west of England, to the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia in Wales. Back into England, you will climb the most incredible roads in the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the Lake District, before disappearing into the magical peace of the minor roads of Scotland. From Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairngorm mountains, to the west coast, you will see the full range of spectacular scenery that the Scottish lowlands and highlands have to offer, before you finally cruise the north east coast up to John O’Groats. LEJOG Hardcore is split into 16 stages, the official challenge being to complete them over 19 days. Each stage though, can, of course, be attempted in isolation so that you complete the journey gradually over a timeframe that suits you. If a stage is too tough, just split it into two (or more) days. You’re still going to see the most incredible parts of the country. All you need to do to get started is go to the website – www.lejoghardcore. where the GPX files are available to be downloaded. Aside from completing this self-imposed challenge out of nothing but a pure love of cycling, I have also written and self-published a book that is intended as a travel guide for others who want to have a go at it. You can also buy the book through the website. For each stage, this book gives you: n a map of the stage and a description of what you will see and the names of all of the towns and villages that you will visit. n details of tough cycling sportives in the same area, which you might want to attempt on a return visit. n good places to stop and eat lunch or take a well-deserved tea break n nonsense snippets on my version of history of Britain. n fascinating pearls of wisdom from my conversations with the locals. n a “Beat the Author” section for the main climbs of the stage.

Horseshoe Pass, North Wales

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Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


London-EdinburghLondon 2013 – The Movie Whether it’s to relive your participation in the last LEL, see what you missed or even get a taster for what to expect in next year’s event, this film could be just what you need…


udax UK members won’t need telling about London Edinburgh London, the flagship event of long-distance cycling in the UK, covering 1,400km between the English and Scottish capital cities. Held every four years, the next edition is due to take place in August 2017 – more about which elsewhere in this issue. If you want to get a taster for next year’s ride, or fancy reliving past glories, independent film producers Madegood films have just the thing for you with their newly released documentary of the 2013 edition of the ride. Available as a digital download, you can watch the film via all the most popular streaming services – iOS, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. The 54-minute film is available either to rent for a 24-hour streaming period for £3.49, or to download and keep forever for £7.99. But as an Audax UK member, you are entitled to a discount of 15% on the usual price – simply enter the code ‘arrivee’ at the checkout.


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A(1) free/cheap accommodation 1 night B very basic – no halls/beds, etc BD baggage drop DIY own route and controls, cards by post R  free or cheap refreshments at start and/or finish S showers Z sleeping facilities on route 175 entries close at 175 riders

YH youth hostel at/near start C camping at or near the start F some free food and/or drink on ride L left luggage facilities at start P free or cheap motor parking at start T toilets at start M mudguards required X  some very basic controls (eg service stations) (14/4) entries close 14th April

100 03 Aug Marple Dark Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 106km 2290m AAA2.25 £5.00 P R T 60 (257) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC Derek Heine, 10 Whitehall Drive, Hartford, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 1SJ 200 06 Aug Cardiff Gate, Cardiff Dr. Foster’s Summer Saunter 08:00 Sat BR 201km £6.00 C P R T 50 15-25kph Cardiff Byways CC Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street, Nelson, Treharris CF46 6EB 200 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Elan & Ystwyth 08:00 Sat BR 208km 3750m AAA3.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 14.3-25kph Up Hill Down Ale Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR 100 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Radnor Roundabout 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1826m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR 53 06 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Gladestry Trot 10:00 Sat BP £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 10-20kph CTC Cymru Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR 200 06 Aug Richmond-upon-Thames Cogidubnus CC (Cheese & Cake Double Century) 08:00 Sat BR 208km 2250m [650m] £6.00 X G T 15-30kph Updated Marcus JB Marcus Jackson-Baker, 30 Red Lion Street, Suite 179, Richmond Upon Thames TW9 1RB 110 06 Aug Richmond-upon-Thames Cheesy Peas 110km 09:00 Sat BP 1100m [1050m] £6.00 X G T 10-30kph Marcus JB Marcus Jackson-Baker, 30 Red Lion Street, Suite 179, Richmond Upon Thames TW9 1RB 200 06 Aug Tewkesbury Benjamin Allen’s Spring Tonic. 08:00 Sat BR 206km 2050m £6.00 P T C NM (100) 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road, Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 5TZ 100 06 Aug Tewkesbury ‘Mint’ Stalwart’s Mania 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 10-30kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road, Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 5TZ 200 06 Aug Witham, Essex 07:30 Sat BR 215km 1675m [650m] £7.50 F G P T X (100) 14.3-30kph Updated Witham Cycling Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF

100 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Gladestry Gallop 09:00 Sun BP 107km 1625m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR 200 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties - Four Leaf Clover 08:00 Sun BR 202km 1930m £6.00 F P R T 15-30kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD 110 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties - Two Leaf Clover 09:00 Sun BP 111km 1057m £4.00 F P R T 15-30kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD 50 07 Aug Wickhamford, SE of Evesham Three Counties - Clover Leaf 09:30 Sun BP 448m [609m] £2.00 F P R T 10-25kph Updated Evesham & Dist Whs 07977 516574 Neil Robinson, Flat 7, Swans Reach, 45 Swan Lane, Evesham, Worcestershire WR11 4PD 100 09 Aug Alfreton Prison for Dinner 09:00 Tue BP 103km £5.00 G L P R T 12-25kph Updated Alfreton CTC ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP 100 10 Aug Marple, Memorial Park, SK6 Mid Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 109km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 L P R T 40 (31/7) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC Chris Keeling-Roberts, 17 Lower Strines Road, Marple, Cheshire SK6 7DL 400 13 Aug Galashiels Nae Bother to Us 06:30 Sat BRM 3400m £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL 400 13 Aug Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Pengwern Pedal 07:00 Sat BRM 405km 6300m AAA6.25 £10.00 C F G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF 300 13 Aug Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Pengwern Pedal 07:00 Sat BRM 302km 5500m AAA5.5 £8.00 C F G L P R T (50) 15-25kph CTC Shropshire ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF 200 14 Aug Swaffham Assembly Rooms Swaffham Georgian 200 08:00 Sun BR 204km £6.50 15-30kph Jonathan Reed Jonathan Reed, Swaffham Community Centre, The Campingland, Swaffham PE377RD 110 17 Aug Maidenhead Riverside to Riverside 10:00 Wed BP 118km £4.00 P R T 15-30kph Willesden CC Anne Mograby, 5 Castle Farm, Leigh Square, Windsor, Berks SL4 4PT 110 17 Aug Marple, Memorial Park, SK6 Staffs Peak Super-Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 2650m AAA2.75 [2800m] £5.00 P R T (22/8) 60 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC Peter Coates, Holly Bank, Pant Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 8LB

Essex R&R

200 20 Aug Sparsholt, Nr Wantage Old Roads and Drove Roads 07:30 Sat BR £5.00 P R T NM 15-30kph Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL

A little Essex R&R

100 21 Aug Merthyr Tydfil Brecon Reservoirs 09:00 Sun BP 104km 1650m AAA1.75 £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Merthyr CC 01685 373 758 ROA 2000 Adrian McDonald, 2 Brunswick St, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan CF47 8SB

200 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Tregaron Dragon 08:00 Sun BR 209km 4800m AAA4.75 £5.00 YH C BD P R T 150 5/8 14.3-25kph CTC Cymru Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR

110 21 Aug Shere Village Hall, Guildford Tour of the Hills 09:40 Sun BP 115km 2300m AAA2.25 £8.00 F L P R T 225 15-30kph CTC West Surrey 01483 810028 Don Gray, Greenleas, Beech Lane, Normandy, Surrey GU3 2JH

160 07 Aug Gladestry, W of Kington Llandovery Discovery 08:30 Sun BP 3250m AAA3.25 £5.00 YH C L P R T 150 8/16 12.5-25kph CTC Cymru Ross Jeal, Monymusk, Meadow Vale, Gladestry, Powys HR5 3PR

100 24 Aug Marple West Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 103km 2400m AAA2.5 £5.00 P R T 60 (16/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax CTC David Catlow, 31 Cavendish Way, Mickleover, Derby DE3 9BL

100 06 Aug Witham, Essex 09:00 Sat BP 107km £7.50 F G P T X (75) 12-30kph Updated Witham Cycling Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF


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AUK CALENDAR 400 27 Aug Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire The Old 240 05:30 Sat BRM 407km 6400m AAA6.5 £8.00 A L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St, West Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks HX6 1EF

200 04 Sep Arnside Hostel Northern Dales 08:00 Sun BR 202km 3000m AAA3 £5.00 YH R S T 15-30kph VC 167 Julian Dyson, 5 Duke Street, Gleaston, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0UA

400 27 Aug Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire Not Quite The Spurn Head 400 05:30 Sat BRM 403km 2450m £8.00 A(2) L P R T S YH 15-30kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St, West Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks HX6 1EF

100 04 Sep Arnside Hostel Northern Dales Populaire 09:00 Sun BP 109km 1675m AAA1.75 £5.00 YH R S T 12.5-25kph VC 167 Julian Dyson, 5 Duke Street, Gleaston, Ulverston, Cumbria LA12 0UA

200 27 Aug Newtonmore Rothes Reccie 08:00 Sat BR 202km £2.00 C YH L P R T 15-30kph CTC Highland ROA 10000 Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach, Rockfield, Tain, Ross-shire IV20 1RF

160 04 Sep Asda, New Road, Forfar, Angus Cycling Festival Century 08:00 Sun BP 1200m £8.00 NM P R T 12-25kph Angus Bike Chain Alex Pattison, 1 Angle Park Crescent, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 4TJ

100 27 Aug Newtonmore Grantown Gallop 10:00 Sat BP 104km £2.00 C YH L P R T 12-25kph CTC Highland ROA 10000 Steve Carroll, Creag Charrach, Rockfield, Tain, Ross-shire IV20 1RF

50 04 Sep Asda, New Road, Forfar, Angus Cycling Festival Fifty Kms 09:00 Sun BP 460m £5.00 NM P R T 10-25kph Angus Bike Chain Alex Pattison, 1 Angle Park Crescent, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 4TJ

200 28 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally, West Row Mildenhall Rally Randonnee 08:00 Sun BR 206km 1064m [1096m] £6.50 CPTS (16/8) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN

100 04 Sep Budleigh Salterton, Devon Utterly Butterleigh 09:00 Sun BP 106km 1300m £6.00 C G L NM P R T 15-30kph CS Dynamo 07779020426 Steven Medlock, 11 Marpool Hill, Exmouth, Devon EX8 2LJ

160 28 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally, West Row Mildenhall Rally Century 08:15 Sun BP 162km 980m £6.50 CPTS (16/8) 15-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN

55 04 Sep Budleigh Salterton, Devon East Devon Escape 09:30 Sun BP 300m £6.00 G L NM P R T (23/8) 15-30kph CS Dynamo 07779020426 Steven Medlock, 11 Marpool Hill, Exmouth, Devon EX8 2LJ

100 28 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally, West Row Mildenhall Rally Brevet 09:00 Sun BP 105km £6.50 GLPT (25/8) 12.5-30kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN

100 04 Sep Hampton Hill, SW London London Sightseer 08:30 Sun BP £5.00 C L P T NM 10-20kph Hounslow & Dist Whs 020 8287 3244 Bill Carnaby, 225 High Street, Hampton Hill, Middlesex TW12 1NP

50 28 Aug Mildenhall Cycling Rally, West Row Mildenhall Rally Brief Brevet 10:00 Sun BP 300m [251m] £6.50 GLPT (25/8) 10-25kph Suffolk CTC Andy Terry, The Nook, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN

200 04 Sep Lymington New Forest On and Off Shore 07:15 Sun BR 202km 2150m £19.00 L P R T 100 (2/9) Ferry 15-30kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 ROA 10000 John Ward, 34 Avenue Road, Lymington, Hants SO41 9GJ

100 31 Aug Marple Memorial Park White Peak Grimpeur 10:00 Wed BP 103km 2310m AAA2.25 £5.00 P R T 60 (8/8) 12.5-25kph Peak Audax 01457 870421 ROA 10000 Mike Wigley, Higher Grange Farm, Millcroft Lane, Delph OL3 5UX

160 04 Sep Lymington New Forest and Isle of Wight Century 07:15 Sun BP £19.00 L P R T 100 (2/9) Ferry 15-30kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 ROA 10000 John Ward, 34 Avenue Road, Lymington, Hants SO41 9GJ

110 03 Sep Ludford, NE of Lincoln 09:30 Sat BP 867m £5.00 F P R T 15-30kph CTC Lincolnshire ROA 2000 Tim Newbery, 7a Linden Walk, Louth LN11 9HT

Lincolnshire Wolds

100 04 Sep Lymington New Forest and Coast 10:00 Sun BP 105km £7.00 C L P R T 100 10-20kph Cycling New Forest 01590 671 205 ROA 10000 John Ward, 34 Avenue Road, Lymington, Hants SO41 9GJ

200 03 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Pistyll Packing Momma 08:00 Sat BR 209km 3400m AAA3.5 £6.00 P R 50 T L 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CT ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG

200 04 Sep Moira, W of Ashby-de-la-Zouch East Midlands Forests 200k 08:00 Sun BR 207km £5.50 C P T R YH (40) (01/9) 15-30kph CTC East Midlands 01283 223 581 Ian Hill, 33 Wren Close, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 7QP

130 03 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma’s Mountain Views 08:30 Sat BP 137km 2000m AAA2 £6.00 P R 50 T L 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG

100 04 Sep Moira, W of Ashby-de-la-Zouch Bosworth Battlefield Sightseer 09:30 Sun BP 107km £4.70 P R T C YH (80) (01/09) 12-24kph CTC Derby & Burton 01283 223 581 Ian Hill, 33 Wren Close, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 7QP

50 03 Sep Old Ma’s Tattenhall, Cheshire Momma’s Leafy Lanes 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 P R 50 T L 10-20kph Chester & N Wales CTC ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG

200 04 Sep Musselburgh The Erit Lass 08:00 Sun BR 3000m AAA3 £10.00 F L P R T 15-30kph Audax Ecosse Martin Foley, 78 Denholm Road, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6TU

200 03 Sep Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick goes to Hay in a day 08:00 Sat BR 209km 1900m £6.00 c f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road, Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

600 10 Sep Churchend,Dunmow, Essex The Flatlands 06:00 Sat BRM 606km £6.00 X A(1)C L P R T M (03/09) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA

200 03 Sep Ruislip Lido, London Steam Ride: LOL – The Ghan Reversed 08:15 Sat BR 2078m [2128m] £8.00 L P R T YH F 14.3-30kph Audax Club Hackney Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Rd, Ealing, London W5 1JG

100 10 Sep Coryton, NW Cardiff 9::00 Sat BP 105km 2270m AAA2.25 £8.00 YH L P R T 50 12-24kph Cardiff Byways CC Hugh Mackay, 131 Stanwell Road, Penarth CF64 3LL

100 03 Sep Ruislip Lido, London Steam Ride: Chinnor Scenic 08:30 Sat BP £6.00 T YH R NM L 12.5-30kph New Event Audax Club Hackney Tim Sollesse, 59 Lynwood Road, Ealing, London W5 1JG

160 10 Sep Dore, Sheffield Amber and Green 08:15 Sat BP 2850m AAA2.75 £5.00 L P R T 14.3-30kph Change of Date Sheffield District CTC 0114 255 0907 Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue, Sheffield S7 1SF

300 03 Sep Uffculme, Devon Marlborough with Lights 08:00 Sat BR 307km 3060m [3400m] £13.00 FGPTLRT 15-30kph Exeter Whs Jamie Andrews, Cemetery Lodge, Ashill Road, Uffculme, Devon EX15 3DP

100 10 Sep Dore, Sheffield An Amber Gambol 09:00 Sat BP 1550m AAA1.5 £5.00 L P R T 12-25kph Change of Date Sheffield District CTC 0114 255 0907 Tony Gore, 8 Ladysmith Avenue Sheffield S7 1SF

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

Trefil Travail


AUK CALENDAR 600 10 Sep Galashiels Borderlands Late Season Explorer 07:00 Sat BRM 5500m £6.00 PRTXG 15-25kph Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

100 17 Sep Richmond, N Yorks Dave’s Mini Dales Tour 100KM 09:30 Sat BP 1900m AAA2 £5.50 C F L P R T 10-20kph VC 167 07887628513 David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL

300 10 Sep Galashiels Alston and Back 07:00 Sat BRM 2700m £5.00 PRT 15-30kph Updated Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

100 17 Sep Richmond, N Yorks Lucia’s Vale of York Meander 100KM 10:00 Sat BP £5.50 C F L P R T 10-20kph VC 167 07887628513 David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL

100 11 Sep Droitwich Saracen Century Audax 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £8 L P R T 12.5-25kph Saracen RC Sean Barker, 16 Leahouse Road, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2DD

200 17 Sep Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Wem, we get there 08:00 Sat BR 208km 1400m £7.00 X P R 50 (31/8) 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver ROA 10000 Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive, Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1BY

110 11 Sep Herrington Country Park, Sunderland The Penshaw Punisher 09:00 Sun BP 1700m AAA1.75 £6.00 F G L P R T NM 13-30kph Sunderland Clarion CC Dale Ramage, 23 Stamford Avenue, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear SR3 4AT

110 17 Sep Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Charnwood Challenge 09:00 Sat BP 111km 1094m £7.00 P R T 50 (31/8) 12.5-30kph Geoff Cleaver ROA 10000 Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive, Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1BY

120 11 Sep Lower Whitley, nr Warrington The Wizard and the Llamas Audax’ 08:30 Sun BP 767m £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph North Cheshire Clarion Neil Shand, 12 Chapel Close, Comberbach, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 6BA

51 17 Sep Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH National Forest 50 09:30 Sat BP 400m £6.00 P R T 50 (31/8) 10-20kph Geoff Cleaver ROA 10000 Geoffrey Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive, Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1BY

100 11 Sep Rodborough, Stroud Budding 100 10:00 Sun BP 106km 1770m AAA1.75 [1650m] £5.00 L P R S T (60) 12.5-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 James Reynolds, Ambleside, The Butts, Rodborough, Stroud GL5 3UG

200 17 Sep Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Beyond Shropshire 08:15 Sat BR 207km 3110m AAA3 [2970m] £8.00 C F G L P R T 15-25kph CTC Shropshire ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF

100 11 Sep Rodborough, Stroud Pedersen 100 10:15 Sun BP 106km 2150m AAA2.25 £5.00 L P R S T (60) 12.5-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 James Reynolds, Ambleside, The Butts, Rodborough, Stroud GL5 3UG

130 17 Sep Upton Magna, E of Shrewsbury Discovering Shropshire 09:00 Sat BP 131km 2000m AAA2 [1545m] £7.00 C F G L P R T 60 13-25kph CTC Shropshire ROA 10000 John Hamilton, 22 Oaks Crescent, Wellington, Telford TF1 2HF

61 11 Sep Rodborough, Stroud Awdry 60 11:00 Sun BP 1000m AAA1 £5.00 LPRST(60) 10-25kph Change of Date Dursley RC 01453 762235 James Reynolds, Ambleside, The Butts, Rodborough, Stroud GL5 3UG 200 11 Sep Surbiton, Greater London Rowlands RAAAmble 07:30 Sun BR 215km 2700m AAA2.5 [2550m] £5.00 F G L P R T (100) (4/9) 14.3-30kph Updated Kingston Whs Richard Evans, 29 Somerset Avenue Raynes Park London SW20 0BJ 300 17 Sep Greenwich, London Greenwich Mean Climb 06:00 Sat BR 302km 4500m AAA4.5 £14.00 F G R T (15/9) (80) 14.6-28kph Audax Club Hackney Justin Jones, ACH HQ incorporating The Stag’s Head, 39 Harringay Road, London N15 3JB 200 17 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Chris Negus Memorial Rides 08:00 Sat BR 216km £6.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP 170 17 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Chris Negus Memorial Rides 09:00 Sat BP £5.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP 110 17 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Chris Negus Memorial Rides 10:00 Sat BP 116km £5.00 L P R S T 15-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP 50 17 Sep Henham, Saffron Walden Shaftesbury CC – Chris Negus Memorial Rides 11:00 Sat BP £5.00 L P R S T 10-30kph Shaftesbury CC Tim Stout, 31 Eversleigh Gardens, Upminster, Essex RM14 1DP 200 17 Sep Richmond, N Yorks Dave’s Dales Tour Plus 08:00 Sat BR 3150m AAA3.25 £6.00 C F L P R T 14.4-30kph VC 167 07887628513 David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL 150 17 Sep Richmond, N Yorks Dave’s Dales Tour 160KM 08:30 Sat BP 2500m AAA2.5 £5.50 C F L P R T 12-30kph VC 167 07887628513 David Atkinson, 4 Borrowby Avenue, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL6 1AL 62

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

100 18 Sep Alfreton, NW of Nottingham Beware of the Plague 09:00 Sun BP 107km 1900m AAA2 £6.00 P R T F 12.5-24kph Alfreton CTC Martyn Leighton, 46 Ashford Rise, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1TJ 100 18 Sep Broadway, Ilminster Neroche 100 09:30 Sun BP 1600m AAA1.5 £7.00 L NM P R T 15-30kph 1st Chard Wheelers Mark Hughes, 40 Kingswood Road, Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8EY 200 24 Sep Broken Cross, nr Macclesfield Venetian Nights 08:00 Sat BR 210km 2750m AAA2.25 [2333m] £8.00 F L P R T 14.3-25kph Peak Audax CTC John Perrin, 20 Princes Way, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 8UB 200 24 Sep Chepstow Castle Border Castles Randonnee 07:30 Sat BR 3000m AAA3 £3.00 YHXPRT(14/9) 15-30kph Audax Club Bristol ROA 5000 Nik Peregrine, 46 Bridge Street, Chepstow NP16 5EY 200 24 Sep Coryton, NW Cardiff Ferryside Fish Foray 07:00 Sat BR 225km £8.00 YH L R P T 50 15-30kph Updated Cardiff Byways CC Bernard Brown, 20 Heol Don, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 2AU 200 24 Sep Droitwich Severn Vale and Cotswold Day Out 08:15 Sat BR 207km £4.00 C P T R M 14.4-30kph Change of Date Gavin Greenhow 01905 775 803 ROA 25000 Gavin Greenhow, 44 Newland Road, Droitwich WR9 7AG 300 24 Sep Hungerford, Berks 06:00 Sat BR 2600m AAA1.5 [1500m] £6.00 F T (50) 15-30kph New Event Pat Hurt Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL

Cheddar Gorge(ous)

160 24 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 160 08:00 Sat BP 1675m £6.00 LPRT 15-30kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 3000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage Grange Lane East Langton Market Harborough Leicestershire LE16 7TF 110 24 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 110 08:30 Sat BP 116km 1350m £6.00 LPRT 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 3000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage, Grange Lane East, Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7TF

AUK CALENDAR 53 24 Sep Husbands Bosworth Welland Wonder 50 09:00 Sat BP 525m £6.00 LPRT 12-24kph Welland Valley CC 01858545376 ROA 3000 Mike Vybiral, Logan Cottage, Grange Lane East, Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7TF 200 24 Sep Kirkley Cycles, Ponteland Copshaw Holm 200 08:00 Sat BR 205km 2163m [1916m] £5.00 P G 15-30kph Tyneside Vagabonds Rob Wood, 43 Holly Avenue, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 2PX 100 24 Sep Sonning Common, near Reading Henley Hilly Hundred 09:00 Sat BP 102km 1660m AAA1.75 £6.00 FLPRT 12-30kph Reading CTC Brian Perry, 16 Rowland Close, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8LA 200 25 Sep Clitheroe, Lancashire Last Chance Dales Dance 200 07:30 Sun BRM 202km 3300m AAA3.25 [3000m] £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Updated Burnley Cycling Club Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT

100 08 Oct Dore, Sheffield 09:00 Sat BP 101km 1693m AAA1.75 £5.00 GLPRT 12-25kph Sheffield District CTC John Cripps, 8 Brincliffe Crescent, Sheffield S11 9AW

Ring of Steel (City)

200 08 Oct Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Autumnal 200 08:00 Sat BR £6.00 X A G L P R T S YH 15-30kph Cambridge Audax Nick Wilkinson, 42 Dodford Lane, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0QE 100 08 Oct Girton, Cambridge The Cambridge Autumnal 100 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 12.5-30kph Cambridge Audax Nick Wilkinson, 42 Dodford Lane, Girton, Cambridge CB3 0QE 200 08 Oct St Herbert’s, Windermere Brant and Slape 08:00 Sat BR 203km 3500m AAA3.75 £7.00 A(1) P L YH P R T S 15-30kph Lakes Velo Paul Revell, Kirklands Brow Edge, Backbarrow, Cumbria LA12 8QL

200 25 Sep Denmead, Nr Portsmouth WYLYE AND EBBLE VALLEY 07:30 Sun BR £6.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Hampshire RC Paul Whitehead, 73 Spencer Road, Emsworth, Hampshire PO10 7XR

100 09 Oct Abergavenny Marches Grimpeur 09:00 Sun BP 1950m AAA2 £9.00 YH F P L T 12.5-25kph Abergavenny RC Jonathan Saville, 9 Trehonddu, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire NP7 8DG

160 25 Sep Haynes Road, Leicester, LE54AR The Leicester Circle 08:00 Sun BP 166km 1500m [1525m] £6.00 L P R T NM 15-30kph Updated Leicester Forest CC Steve Orchard, 28 Hidcote Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5PE

120 09 Oct Birdwell Community Centre, S70 5TQ Rarnd Tarn 09:00 Sun BP 125km 1929m £5.00 L P R T 15-30kph Birdwell Whs Robert Waterhouse, 46 Racecourse Road, Swinton, Mexborough S64 8DP

84 25 Sep Haynes Road, Leicester, LE54AR 08:30 Sun BP 1100m [1200m] £5.00 L P R T NM 12.5-30kph Updated Leicester Forest CC Steve Orchard, 28 Hidcote Road, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5PE

Inner Circle

100 09 Oct Hailsham, E Sussex The Autumn Tints 100 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1200m [1100m] £7.00 F P 15-30kph Updated David Hudson Christopher Tracey, 20 Salisbury Road, Seaford, East Sussex BN25 2DD

Tasty Cheddar

100 09 Oct Minehead Ken’s Autumn Colours 09:30 Sun BP 105km £5.00 YH L P R T 12.5-25kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX

200 01 Oct Chalfont St Peter The AAAnfractuous 08:00 Sat BR 210km 2900m AAA3 £7.00 L P R T M 75 15-30kph Willesden CC Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN

60 09 Oct Minehead Ken’s Autumn Colours 10:00 Sun BP £5.00 YH L P R T 10-20kph Minehead CC Richard Miles, 1 Lower Park, Minehead, Somerset TA24 8AX

200 01 Oct Chalfont St Peter The Less Anfractuous 08:10 Sat BR 202km 2400m £7.00 L P R T M 75 15-30kph Willesden CC Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN

100 09 Oct Mytholmroyd Season of Mists 09:00 Sun BP 105km 2555m AAA2.5 £4.50 L P R T YH 12-24kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St, West Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks HX6 1EF

100 01 Oct Chalfont St Peter The Nyctophobic 08:30 Sat BP 106km 1400m £6.00 L P R T M 75 12.5-30kph Willesden CC Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN

55 09 Oct Mytholmroyd Mellow Fruitfulness 10:00 Sun BP 1200m AAA1.25 £4.00 L P R T YH 8-20kph West Yorkshire CTC 01422 832 853 ROA 25000 Chris Crossland, 14 Stanley St, West Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks HX6 1EF

200 01 Oct Churchend,Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 200 08:30 Sat BRM 201km £8.00 C L P R T M (24/09) 15-30kph Flitchbikes CC Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA

200 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwydian 08:00 Sat BR 212km 3200m AAA3.25 [3488m] £6.00 P R T 50 15-30kph Chester & N Wales CTC 01745 560892 Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH

100 01 Oct Churchend, Dunmow, Essex Richard Ellis Memorial 100 09:30 Sat BP 103km £8.00 C L P R T M (24/09) 12.5-25kph Flitchbikes CC Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA

130 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales The Clwyd Gate 08:30 Sat BP 138km 2250m AAA2.25 £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC 01745 560892 Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH

110 02 Oct Earlswood, nr Solihull Midlander 110 09:00 Sun BP 950m £6.00 P T 15-30kph Midland C & AC Jim Lee-Pevenhull, 107 Shustoke Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 2QR

60 15 Oct Corwen, N. Wales ‘The Bala Mini- Bash’ 09:00 Sat BP £6.00 P R T 50 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC 01745 560892 Vicky Payne, Bryn Celyn, Penyffordd, Holywell, Flintshire CH8 9HH

100 02 Oct Winchcombe, Glos Winchcombe Falling Leaves 100 09:00 Sun BP 1750m AAA1.75 £8.00 F,P,R,NM,G 12.5-25kph Winchcombe Cycling Club Sarah Davies, 22 Binyon Road, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5QY

200 15 Oct Galashiels Etal-u-Can 08:00 Sat BR 204km 2379m £8.00 PRTG 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

200 08 Oct Coryton, NW Cardiff Gower Getter 07:30 Sat BR 202km 2200m £8 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Ajax CC Georgina Harper, 68 Hazelhurst Road, Llandaf, North Cardiff, Wales CF14 2FX

200 15 Oct Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s Autumnal Outing 07:30 Sat BR 206km 2350m £5.00 c l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road, Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

100 01 Oct Bristol, The Lamplighters, Shirehampton 09:00 Sat BP 101km 1225m £4.00 YH G NM P R T (250) 12.5-30kph Updated Bristol CTC ROA 4000 Joe Prosser – no postal entries accepted

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


AUK CALENDAR 150 15 Oct Trowell, West of Nottingham An Autumn day out. 08:30 Sat BP 153km 1135m £7.00 L P R T(80) 15-30kph Nottinghamshire CTC Terry Scott, 22 Kinglake Place, Nottingham NG2 1NT

200 30 Oct Bispham, Lancashire Ride The Lancashire Lights 200 07:30 Sun BR 204km 1800m £5.00 C L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT

100 16 Oct Bynea, Llanelli Wesley May Memorial Super Grimpeur 09:00 Sun BP 102km 2400m AAA2.5 [2931m] £4.50 G F L P R T 30 (17/10) 10-25kph Swansea DA 01792 391492 John Bastiani, The Brambles, Reynoldston, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 1AA

100 30 Oct Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 9 09:00 Sun BP 106km 2500m AAA2.5 £9.00 F G P R T 125 (23/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 ROA 4000 Kevin Presland, Hind Street House, Hind Street, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9HT

100 16 Oct Bynea, Llanelli Around The Gwendraeth 9.:00 Sun BP 990m £6.00 G F L P R T 30 (17/10) 15-30kph Swansea DA 01792 391492 John Bastiani, The Brambles, Reynoldston, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 1AA

100 30 Oct Bovey Tracey The Dartmoor Devil @ 8 08:00 Sun BP 106km 2500m AAA2.5 £9.00 F G P R T 125 (23/10) 12.5-25kph CTC Devon 01626 833 749 ROA 4000 Kevin Presland, Hind Street House, Hind Street, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9HT

200 16 Oct Carlton Colville, Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 07:30 Sun BR £5.00 FRTP 15-30kph Updated VC Baracchi John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT

100 30 Oct Stevenage Emitremmus Desrever - Stevenage 70th Birthday 10:00 Sun BP 1019m £7.00 L P R T (19/10; 360) 12.5-28kph Stevenage & North Herts 0793 968 7509 ROA 5000 Jim Brown, Emitremmus c/o 5 Malvern Close, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG2 8UH

160 16 Oct Carlton Colville,Lowestoft, Suffolk The Silly Suffolk 08:00 Sun BP £5.00 FRTP 15-30kph Updated VC Baracchi John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NT

67 30 Oct Stevenage Emitremmus Lite - Stevenage 70th Birthday 10:30 Sun BP 643m £7.00 L P R T (19/10; 100) 10-20kph Stevenage & North Herts 0793 968 7509 ROA 5000 Jim Brown, Emitremmus c/o 5 Malvern Close, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG2 8UH

200 16 Oct Congleton Rugby Club Horseshoe Pass 08:00 Sun BR 210km 1650m £5.00 P R (60) 15-30kph Congleton CC Denise Hurst, 10 Firwood Road, Biddulph, Staffordshire ST8 7ED

100 05 Nov Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 108km £5.00 L P R T M 100 12-28kph Updated Alfreton CTC ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP

170 16 Oct Congleton Rugby Club Chirk Aqueduct 08:30 Sun BP 175km 1197m £5.00 P R (60) 15-30kph Congleton CC Denise Hurst, 10 Firwood Road, Biddulph, Staffordshire ST8 7ED

200 05 Nov Cholsey, E of Didcot Upper Thames 07:30 Sat BR 212km 1900m [1943m] £6.00 L P R T M 15-30kph Thames Valley Audax 01491 651 284 Phil Dyson, 25 Papist Way, Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 9LL

100 16 Oct Galashiels Ride of the Valkyries 10:00 Sun BP 106km 1200m [1517m] £8.00 PRTG 12-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

200 05 Nov Coryton, NW Cardiff Transporter 200 07:00 Sat BR 202km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC 02920 341768 ROA 5000 Richard Evans, 73 Conway Road, Cardiff CF11 9NW

100 22 Oct Bolsover Colourful Clumber (1) 09:00 Sat BP 106km £5.00 L P R T (100) 12.5-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL

200 05 Nov Galashiels The Long Dark Teatime of The Soul 08:00 Sat BR 2000m £8.00 G, P,R,T 15-30kph Change of Date Audax Ecosse 01896 758 181 ROA 10000 Lucy McTaggart, 30 Victoria St, Galashiels, Scottish Borders TD1 1HL

100 22 Oct Chailey, East Sussex Mid Sussex Hillier 08:30 Sat BP 108km 2012m AAA2 £5.50 F L P R T 40 (12/10) 12.5-25kph San Fairy Ann CC Martin Malins, 4 North Common, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9DN

200 05 Nov Tewkesbury Mr. Pickwick’s Cymraeg Cyrch 07:30 Sat BR 209km 2200m £4.00 c p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road ,Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ

100 22 Oct Chailey, East Sussex Mid Sussex Hilly 08:30 Sat BP 108km 1600m AAA1.5 £5.50 F L P R T 40 12.5-25kph Grimpeurs du Sud Martin Malins, 4 North Common, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 9DN

100 05 Nov Witham 10:00 Sat BP 107km £4.00 X M T G 12-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex Grant Huggins, 76 Bryony Close, Witham, Essex CM8 2XF

200 22 Oct Droitwich Droitwich- Witney (or the 5 Gates) 08:15 Sat BR £4.00 C P T R M 14.4-25kph Gavin Greenhow ROA 25000 Gavin Greenhow, 44 Newland Road, Droitwich WR9 7AG

200 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Eureka! 08:00 Sun BR 210km 800m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ

100 23 Oct Connor Downs W.I. Hall, NE of Hayle 09:30 Sun BP 1250m [1350m] £5.00 C L P R T 12.5-30kph Audax Kernow Chris Rayne, 1 Reawla Lane, Camborne, Cornwall TR27 5HQ

Celtic Coastal

160 06 Nov Cheadle, Stockport Cheshire Safari 08:30 Sun BP 570m £6.00 P R T M 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC Peter Hammond, 3 Dorac Avenue Heald Green, Cheadle, Stockport, Cheshire SK8 3NZ

60 23 Oct Connor Downs W.I. Hall, NE of Hayle 10:00 Sun BP 555m [750m] £5.00 C L P R T 8-30kph Audax Kernow Chris Rayne, 1 Reawla Lane, Camborne, Cornwall TR27 5HQ

Celtic Canter

100 06 Nov Merthyr Tydfil Dic Penderyn 09:00 Sun BP 1900m AAA2 £5.00 P R T 12-30kph Merthyr CC 01685 373 758 ROA 2000 Adrian McDonald, 2 Brunswick St, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glam CF47 8SB

100 23 Oct Wigginton, N of York Wigginton Autumn Brevet 10:00 Sun BP 101km 942m £3.50 L P R T 12-25kph CTC North Yorks Chris Boulton, 15 Adel Towers Close, Leeds LS16 8ES

200 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 200 08:00 Sun BR 210km 2006m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT

100 29 Oct Bolsover Colourful Clumber (2) 09:00 Sat BP 106km £5.00 L P R T (100) 12.5-30kph Bolsover & District CC 01246 825 351 ROA 5000 Matt Connley, 7 Eskdale Close, Bolsover, Chesterfield S44 6RL

100 06 Nov Pound Street Car Park, Petworth, W Sussex The Petworth 100 09:00 Sun BP 103km 1350m £8.50 F P T 15-30kph ABAudax Anton Brown, 19 Northlands Avenue, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3RT

200 29 Oct Morton Park, Darlington Peculier Old 200 08:00 Sat BR 1900m [2200m] £5.00 G NM P T 15-30kph VC 167 Dean Clementson, 108 Salisbury Terrace, Darlington DL3 6NX

100 12 Nov Catherington, near Portsmouth Le Bois Ocaud d’Automne 100 09:00 Sat BP 106km 1600m AAA1.5 £5.00 F L P R T 14.3-30kph Hantspol CC Jonathan Ellis, 42 Wessex Road, Waterlooville, Hampshire PO8 0HS


Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

To the Races

Essex 3 R’s

AUK CALENDAR 100 26 Nov Cranbrook, Exeter Breakfast in Bampton 09:00 Sat BP £4.50 T NM 12-20kph Exeter Whs Sarah Britton, 17 Copse Close Lane, Cranbrook, Devon EX5 7AP

150 29 Jan Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm Down 150 08:00 Sun BP 155km [650m] £5.00 L F P R T 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester GL7 1RL

100 27 Nov Carlton Colville, nr Lowestoft, Suffolk The Waveney Wander 09:00 Sun BP £5.00 LPRT 15-30kph VC Baracchi John Thompson, 136 Dell Road, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 9NT

100 29 Jan 09:00 Sun

200 03 Dec Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire The South of Bucks Winter Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 207km 1100m [1290m] £5.00 YH A1 G L P T S X (100) 15-30kph Terry Lister Terry Lister, 4 Abbey Walk, Great Missenden, Bucks HP16 0AY 200 03 Dec Coryton, NW Cardiff Monmouthshire Meander 07:30 Sat BR 204km £8.00 YH L P R T 50 15-25kph Cardiff Byways Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street, Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 200 03 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Tinsel and Lanes 08:00 Sat BR 211km 2060m £9 P R T 60 15-30kph Geoff Cleaver ROA 10000 Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive, Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1BY 100 03 Dec Tamworth, Pretty Pigs PH Flowers to Furnace 09:00 Sat BP 104km 940m £7.00 P R T 50 12-30kph Geoff Cleaver ROA 10000 Geoff Cleaver, 43 Goodere Drive, Polesworth, Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 1BY 200 03 Dec Tewkesbury Kings, Castles, Priests & Churches. 07:30 Sat BR 202km 2550m AAA1.75 [1800m] £6.00 f l p r t nm 100 15-25kph BlackSheep CC 01684 292 390 ROA 25000 Mark Rigby, 16 Battle Road, Tewkesbury Park, Tewkesbury GL20 5TZ 100 03 Dec Witham, Essex The Stansted Airport Express 10:00 Sat BP £4.00 X M T 12.5-30kph Audax Club Mid-Essex Thomas Deakins, 31 The Causeway, Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 2AA 50 04 Dec Carharrack, Cornwall Ed’s Mince Pie & Mulled Wine 50 10:00 Sun BP £4.00 F L P R T (85) 10-25kph Audax Kernow 01326 373421 Eddie Angell, 14 Belhay, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 8DF 200 18 Dec Great Bromley, nr Colchester Santa Special 08:00 Sun BR 204km 1142m £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph CTC Suffolk 07922 772001 Andy Terry, The Nook, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN 200 07 Jan Oxford The Poor Student 08:00 Sat BR 206km 1800m £6.00 YH P X 15-30kph Change of Date Pat Hurt 07887 87 61 62 Pat Hurt, 10 Newbury Road, Lambourn RG17 7LL 100 08 Jan York, Railway Station Goodbye Christmas Yorkshire Pudding 10:00 Sun BP [71m] £4.00 P R T (100) 15-30kph VC 167 Les Bauchop, 2a Westbourne Grove, Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 8AW 200 21 Jan Cardiff Gate Dr. Foster’s Winter Warmer 07:00 Sat BR 201km £6.00 YH L P R T 15-30kph Cardiff Byways CC Tony Pember, 9 Donald Street, Nelson Treharris CF46 6EB 200 21 Jan Chalfont St Peter The Willy Warmer 08:00 Sat BR 209km £7.00 L P R T M 75 G 15-30kph Willesden CC Paul Stewart, 25 Devonshire Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 3TN

Ashton Keynes, Cirencester Windrush Winter Warm-up 100 BP 108km 650m £5.00 L F P R T 14-25kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515

200 04 Feb Alfreton Straight on at Rosie’s 08:00 Sat BR 1190m £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Alfreton CTC ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP 100 11 Feb Dial Post, West Sussex Worthing Winter Warmer 09:00 Sat BP 105km £5.00 FPRT 15-30kph Mick Irons 01903 240 280 Mick Irons, 36 Phrosso Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 5SL 100 12 Feb Chippenham Flapjack 09:00 Sun BP 102km £7.00 F P R T M 150 15-24kph Chip & Dist Whs 01225 708449 Eric Fletcher, 174 Littleworth Lane, Whitley, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 8RE 120 25 Feb Hailsham Mad Jack’s – John Seviour Memorial 09:00 Sat BP 125km 2450m AAA2.5 £6.00 R F P 100 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 3XB 100 11 Mar Alfreton 09:00 Sat BP 104km 1170m [1270m] £5.00 L P R T 100 12-30kph Alfreton CTC ROA 10000 Tom Fox, 180 Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 7FP

Three Fields

200 25 Mar Alfreton Roses to Wrags 08:00 Sat BR 212km 1391m £6.00 F P R T 150 15-30kph Alfreton CTC Stephen Ogden, The Firs, 170 Nuncargate Road, Kirkby In Ashfield NG17 9EA 200 02 Apr Clitheroe, Lancashire Delightful Dales 200 07:30 Sun BRM 205km 3300m AAA3.25 [3600m] £6.00 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT 300 15 Apr Cirencester Heart of England 300 06:00 Sat BR 307km 2800m £7.00 A(2) L P R T 100 15-30kph Corinium CC 01285 659 515 ROA 5000 Peter Holden, 39 Querns Lane, Cirencester, Glos GL7 1RL 200 22 Apr 08:00 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral BR 215km £6.50 R L P T 70 15-30kph Chester & North Wales CTC

Eureka Excursion

130 22 Apr 08:30 Sat

Eureka Cafe, Wirral BP 135km 500m £6.50 L P R T 70 12.5-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC

Tea in Prospect

68 22 Apr Eureka Cafe, Wirral Two Mills Twirl 09:00 Sat BP £6.50 R L P T 50 10-25kph Chester & N Wales CTC ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG 400 06 May Preston, Lancashire 06:00 Sat BRM 409km 5160m AAA5 [4000m] £7.50 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC 200 20 May 08:00 Sat

Heartbeat 400

Willington Hall, E of Chester Tour of the Berwyns BR 210km 3100m AAA3 £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 15-30kph Chester & North WalesCTC

200 22 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Two Hundred 08:00 Sun BR 201km 800m £7.00 P R T 80 15-30kph Peak Audax CTC David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue, Heaton Chapel, Stockport SK4 5HN

130 20 May Willington Hall, nr Chester Panorama Prospect 08:30 Sat BP 136km 1150m [500m] £6.00 L P R T 75 (17/05) 12.5-25kph Chester & North Wales CT ROA 5000 David Matthews, Hill View Cottage, Cross Lanes, Oscroft Tarvin, Cheshire CH3 8NG

150 22 Jan Cheadle, Stockport A Mere Century 08:30 Sun BP 155km 600m £6.00 P R T 60 15-25kph Peak Audax CTC David Colley, 5 Huncoat Avenue, Heaton Chapel, Stockport SK4 5HN

300 10 Jun Padiham, Lancashire Knock Ventoux 300 06:00 Sat BRM 4900m AAA4 [4600m] £6.50 L P R T 15-30kph Burnley CC Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive, Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancashire BB12 8AT

100 28 Jan Hailsham Hills and Mills 09:00 Sat BP 105km 1950m AAA2 £6.00 R F P 85 14-25kph Andy Seviour Andy Seviour, 13 Blacksmiths Copse Hailsham East Sussex BN27 3XB

600 01 Jul Clitheroe, Lancashire Pendle 600 06:00 Sat BRM 609km 10150m AAA10 [9000m] £15.00 BD F L P R S T Z 15-30kph Burnley CC Andy Corless, 31 Castlerigg Drive Ightenhill Burnley Lancashire BB12 8AT

Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133


SIGNED (entrant): _________________________________________ Date: ________________________

I understand that during the event I am on a private excursion on the public highway and that I am responsible for my own conduct. I agree to abide by Audax UK regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable. I have relevant insurance cover as above.

Name (parent/guardian, please print): ______________________________________________________

Signed (parent/guardian): ___________________________________ Date: ________________________

PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age): Parents should note the information on this form and be aware that this in an individual ride without ride leaders. I am the parent/guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry

The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance and advice (available at or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or a trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration to other road users. ll You should prepare by studying the route. ll The route is on open public roads. ll You are responsible for your safety and conduct. ll The route is not waymarked or marshalled. ll The organiser provides no rescue service. ll Some routes/conditions may be arduous.

INSURANCE: Audax UK provides its members (inc. temporary) normally resident in the UK with 3rd party insurance cover throughout the event for claims in excess of £500. Overseas residents must arrange their own insurance. By signing this form, you declare that you are insured as required.

Club/CTC member group: ________________________________________________________________

Tel: ____________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________

Email: ________________________________________________________________________________


ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________

FORENAME: _____________________________ SURNAME:___________________________________

Date of birth if under 18 years (see parental consent below): ____________________________________

Fee for other entrants (includes £2 temporary membership): £__________________________________

AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _____________________________________________________

Fee for Audax UK members: £ _____________________________________________________________

From: _____________________ Distance: __________________ Date: ___________________________

NAME OF EVENT: ______________________________________________________________________


Emergency contact (name & tel): __________________________________________________________

SIGNED (entrant): _________________________________________ Date: ________________________

I understand that during the event I am on a private excursion on the public highway and that I am responsible for my own conduct. I agree to abide by Audax UK regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable. I have relevant insurance cover as above.

Name (parent/guardian, please print): ______________________________________________________

Signed (parent/guardian): ___________________________________ Date: ________________________

PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age): Parents should note the information on this form and be aware that this in an individual ride without ride leaders. I am the parent/guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry

The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance and advice (available at or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or a trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration to other road users. ll You should prepare by studying the route. ll The route is on open public roads. ll You are responsible for your safety and conduct. ll The route is not waymarked or marshalled. ll The organiser provides no rescue service. ll Some routes/conditions may be arduous.

INSURANCE: Audax UK provides its members (inc. temporary) normally resident in the UK with 3rd party insurance cover throughout the event for claims in excess of £500. Overseas residents must arrange their own insurance. By signing this form, you declare that you are insured as required.

Club/CTC member group: ________________________________________________________________

Tel: ____________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________

Email: ________________________________________________________________________________


ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________

FORENAME: _____________________________ SURNAME:___________________________________

Date of birth if under 18 years (see parental consent below): ____________________________________

Fee for other entrants (includes £2 temporary membership): £__________________________________

AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _____________________________________________________

Fee for Audax UK members: £ _____________________________________________________________

From: _____________________ Distance: __________________ Date: ___________________________

NAME OF EVENT: ______________________________________________________________________


Send to the organiser: 1. Completed form 2. Cheque payable to organiser (not AUK) 3. Two C5 stamped addressed envelopes.

Emergency contact (name & tel): __________________________________________________________ Send to the organiser: 1. Completed form 2. Cheque payable to organiser (not AUK) 3. Two C5 stamped addressed envelopes.

From: _____________________ Distance: __________________ Date: ___________________________ Fee for Audax UK members: £ _____________________________________________________________ AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _____________________________________________________ Fee for other entrants (includes £2 temporary membership): £__________________________________ Date of birth if under 18 years (see parental consent below): ____________________________________ FORENAME: _____________________________ SURNAME:___________________________________ ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________________________________________________ Tel: ____________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________ Club/CTC member group: ________________________________________________________________ INSURANCE: Audax UK provides its members (inc. temporary) normally resident in the UK with 3rd party insurance cover throughout the event for claims in excess of £500. Overseas residents must arrange their own insurance. By signing this form, you declare that you are insured as required. The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance and advice (available at or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or a trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration to other road users. ll You should prepare by studying the route. ll The route is on open public roads. ll You are responsible for your safety and conduct. ll The route is not waymarked or marshalled. ll The organiser provides no rescue service. ll Some routes/conditions may be arduous. PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age): Parents should note the information on this form and be aware that this in an individual ride without ride leaders. I am the parent/guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry Signed (parent/guardian): ___________________________________ Date: ________________________ Name (parent/guardian, please print): ______________________________________________________ I understand that during the event I am on a private excursion on the public highway and that I am responsible for my own conduct. I agree to abide by Audax UK regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable. I have relevant insurance cover as above. SIGNED (entrant): _________________________________________ Date: ________________________ Emergency contact (name & tel): __________________________________________________________

From: _____________________ Distance: __________________ Date: ___________________________

Fee for Audax UK members: £ _____________________________________________________________

AUDAX UK MEMBERSHIP NUMBER: _____________________________________________________

Fee for other entrants (includes £2 temporary membership): £__________________________________

Date of birth if under 18 years (see parental consent below): ____________________________________

FORENAME: _____________________________ SURNAME:___________________________________

ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________________________


Email: ________________________________________________________________________________

Tel: ____________________________________ Mobile: _______________________________________

Club/CTC member group: ________________________________________________________________

INSURANCE: Audax UK provides its members (inc. temporary) normally resident in the UK with 3rd party insurance cover throughout the event for claims in excess of £500. Overseas residents must arrange their own insurance. By signing this form, you declare that you are insured as required.

The event is run under Audax UK regulations. You should familiarise yourself with Audax UK regulations, guidance and advice (available at or on request from the organiser). The event is not a race or a trial of speed. You are expected to follow the rules of the road and show consideration to other road users. ll You should prepare by studying the route. ll The route is on open public roads. ll You are responsible for your safety and conduct. ll The route is not waymarked or marshalled. ll The organiser provides no rescue service. ll Some routes/conditions may be arduous.

PARENTAL CONSENT (required for entrants under 18 years of age): Parents should note the information on this form and be aware that this in an individual ride without ride leaders. I am the parent/guardian of the entrant and give my consent to this entry

Signed (parent/guardian): ___________________________________ Date: ________________________

Name (parent/guardian, please print): ______________________________________________________

I understand that during the event I am on a private excursion on the public highway and that I am responsible for my own conduct. I agree to abide by Audax UK regulations for this ride. Entry fees are not refundable. I have relevant insurance cover as above.

SIGNED (entrant): _________________________________________ Date: ________________________

Emergency contact (name & tel): __________________________________________________________

Send to the organiser: 1. Completed form 2. Cheque payable to organiser (not AUK) 3. Two C5 stamped addressed envelopes.

NAME OF EVENT: ______________________________________________________________________

NAME OF EVENT: ______________________________________________________________________

Send to the organiser: 1. Completed form 2. Cheque payable to organiser (not AUK) 3. Two C5 stamped addressed envelopes.



Profile for Audax UK

Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

Profile for audax-uk